While listening to the Sell More Books Show podcast the other day (I believe it was Episode #182), something one of the hosts said struck a cord. They were discussing life distractions, such as social media, and how at times they needed to tune it out in order to complete their projects. The discussion interested me, since I myself have been struggling with finding time to write among social media distractions and my other obligations. Then one of the hosts said, “How bad do you want it? Are you going to shut stuff down and get it done, or not? It’s up to you.” And with that, I realized that I need to get myself back on track – I need some balance.
There is no denying life gets in the way, I know that more than I would like to admit. But, when I think back to what I accomplished when I had way less time on my hands, I shake my head in amazement and wonder how I possibly got it all done. I wasn’t all that much younger, although at my age five years can make a big difference, but my goal at the time was different. Writing my first book and seeing it in print was my focus, which I achieved in 2015. After that, I quickly realized that in order to support my passion, I needed to learn to market myself (aka: sell some darn books). Building an author platform has been my focus ever since, but it requires a ton of dedication and time, and leaves little opportunity for me to work on “fun” stuff. While the marketing and social media knowledge base was necessary, it does eat into my writing time which has been non-existent with the crazy summer we’ve had. The time I spent learning those skills was well worth it, but now I need to find the time to write as well or these stories inside me will never come out. Here is where Jim’s question comes in – how bad do I want it?
To work on fun stuff? The answer is simple, I don’t have a choice, I can’t live without it. I am a writer, and the words need to flow. If they don’t, they bottle up and eventually come out in ways that would make Stephen King cringe. So how bad DO I want it? Pretty DAMN bad. And what am I going to do about it? I am going to make a date with myself to write! In my mind it is no different than making a doctor’s appointment, lunch date, or finding time to watch television. If I can make time to schedule those things, I can certainly find time to write.
2018 will be a year of change for me, a year that I will take myself seriously and commit to learning my craft. It will also be a year that I will make dates with myself, and will learn to balance all my other obligations in a way that suits all the people I love. Balance must be my focus moving forward, so I can ensure that my creativity is allowed to breathe. It was handy that I found this amazing magnet while shopping the other day, which now has a prominent position on my fridge. It reminds me what to focus on moving forward, and is frankly the core theme for my Power of Four series.
So now I ask you, what is it that you want and how bad do you want it? And, more importantly, what are you going to do about it? I hope your answer is to make time for your passion and to follow your dreams… and don’t forget to keep everything in balance! I know that will be my focus!