Nathan Bransford asked this question the other day on his blog
. I had a discussion with a friend and admitted that I had not given up much. I knew I had commitment issues. But I also have a full time job, four children and an active social life. It difficult to give up any of that.
My friend, Shay Lacy
, wrote a beautiful answer as to what she has given up. I am awed by her dedication.
Every week when I write my weekly TO DO list, I schedule a time, 2 hours minimum, each day, except Thursday, to write and 2-4-hour blocks approximately 2x/day on weekends. I rarely give up those blocks of time to do anything else. I schedule in my TV shows, my RWA meetings, etc.
But you don't have to block out that much time.
I can tell Bransford what I've given up:
Sometimes I feel like everyone is living life but me.
You don't think I feel bitter that I have to write or edit 2 hours a night?
You don't think I'm tired and wish I could lie on the couch and do nothing?
You don't think I'm harried when I get home late and know I still have to load the dishwasher, run a load of laundry and STILL get in my 2 hours if at all possible?
How do you think I feel when it's a choice between exercising or writing?
You don't think it galls me to give up this much of my life without a contract?
You don't think I'd love to have a week's vacation where I don't have to write/edit?
You don't think I want to chat on the phone with my girlfriends and my family?
You don't think I hear the tinge of bitterness in my mom's voice when she calls and I can't talk long?
You don't think I want to keep up-to-date with blogs, etc., like the rest of you keep talking about? But every hour I spend on blogs, that's an hour I'm not finishing a book.
You don't think I want to read? I love to read. But if I'm reading, I'm not writing. I lose almost 2 days each time my favorite fantasy author puts out a new book!
You don't think I'm frustrated whenever I take an online class that I can't keep up with posts during the week and can't actively participate because that hour is an hour I'm not writing? I have to read my backlog of posts at 8 a.m. on the weekends.
You don't think I'd like to get a little sun sometimes? I can't when I'm editing because I don't have (nor want) a laptop. But I can't schedule when I finish writing a book to coincide with warm months.
You don't think I go into editing with a cringe? I do. But it's gotta be done. Writing is the fun part. Editing is work.
You don't think I get frustrated while I'm stuck at work on a slow day knowing I could be home working on my books?
You don't think I'd love to be a full-time writer, but I don't make enough money yet to quit?
Writing began a job for me a few years ago. I don't get paid to do it. But I'm required to show up and put in my time. I'm like an intern now and I'll be a paid employee later.