After I graduated more than a month ago, I swore I was going to buckle down and dedicate myself to my writing. I swore I’d dedicate myself two hours a day to the craft alone, then work on this blog in my downtime outside of work. I really tried, and I succeeded for awhile.
Then, other things hit me. Not essays, exams, or textbooks. Desires to spend time with friends and escape into other hobbies. I did some silly things, which I will not go into detail with on here. And, I even allowed my heart to get distracted for awhile, but that didn’t last.
I gave into distractions for the last month. I allowed myself to have some of these distractions. I saw it as a writing hiatus. And, I regret none of it. I only regret allowing it to drag on a little longer than I intended.
And it would have continued, but something happened.
Last week, I had a realization slap me in the face. Quite figuratively. I realized many of these distractions are passing fancies. I realized some of these distractions were not worth my time. And, I realized I was wrapping myself up in the protective blanket of distractions, because I was scared to reenter the writing world.
I’ve had triumphs as a writer. I’ve had failures. I’ve had pats on the back, and I’ve had punches in the gut. I am scared of the failures and gut-punching, but this is a part of the industry. It is a part of being a writer, which I had forgotten when I’d put it on the backburner in order to complete my master’s.
I’m done being distracted. I realized it’s now or never. I realized either I start now, or I never start at all.
I’ve taken to a schedule. I get up at 5AM and write for two hours before work. It sounds difficult. And, for the first few mornings, I fought myself to swing my legs over the side of the bed, stumble to my laptop, and start to write. Those two hours are reserved for writing my novel. Everything else–my blog, short stories, social media–takes precedence in the evenings. But it works for me.
Since I started this morning routine, I have written the first few chapters of a novel. This week alone, I have written more than 5,000 words. I am also keeping up this blog, researching, and working on a few short stories.
So, I’ve learned another lesson as a writer. When you fear the craft, you give into distractions. I gave into this, but a real shakeup reminded me what is most important. It’s writing, and writing everyday.