There were years when I was going to write books someday, right after I finished ___________.
B. Finding a job
C. Getting married
D. Making babies
E. Raising babies
Sadly I had a litany of excuses. I called them reasons. What it boiled down to was that I’d write when I had the time, after I did everything else that needed to be done.
See the problem? Maybe you can relate.
Eventually, after many years and excuses I hit that metal on metal, bone on bone place where I couldn’t stand it anymore. Writing is something that has been incredibly important to me. Story is how I make sense of the world and I was starving for it. So why was I putting it last so often?
It hit me then, like the proverbial bolt of lightning. I found my elusive focus at last. All the while I’d been waiting for my writing time to arrive as if by magic, what arrived instead was an epiphany.
The time to write is today. All the hours I need are right inside the same twenty-four hours we all have. The problem was they got buried beneath other priorities.
All I had to do was move writing way up to the top of my priority list and set some boundaries around it.
Well, the implementation wasn’t.
Daily writing meant things were left undone. It meant I sacrificed other wants and needs for this one. It required me to stand firm and protect my time and choice. My choice didn’t always make me popular. In fact sometimes I had to be a bit of a jack-hole about it. But there’s no Abracadabra. In order to make a huge change in priorities there will be pain involved, and I’m not even talking about bleeding on the page yet. I’m talking about blocking out time to work and putting writing first. Imagine that.
How far down your priority list is your creative passion? Your creative passion is likely to be that one thing that you absolutely need and want to do that doesn’t make sense to anyone but you.
Making the choice to do what I always thought I should be doing was possibly the best decision I’ve ever made. Once I moved writing to the top of my priorities (right behind staying healthy) and started to make the sacrifices necessary to create daily writing time, when I stood firmly beside my choice and made it happen, everything in my life seemed to fall into place like magic.
Eventually my new priorities became routine. I like to think that when you’re doing what you really love that your joy rubs off on others. It still isn’t always easy. Sometimes life skews my priorities for me and it takes a while to reorganize them. Now and then I lose my footing myself, and have to reorient.
But the magic is—outside of chronic emergencies—we all have the ability to organize our priorities. How about you? Do you make the time to tend to your creative needs? Or will it take a magician to get you there? Just in case you are in need of a magician’s manual, I’m giving away a copy of Magician Mac King’s book Campfire Magic, autographed just for our Hocus Focus crowd. I picked it up on a recent trip through Las Vegas.