On Wanting to be a Writer

On Wanting to Be a Writer

I always wanted to be a writer.

As a child I filled notebooks and stacks of printer paper with my writing and drawings. When our family got its first word processor, I was in heaven.  I could write to my heart’s content, without cramping my hand. Plus, once I printed it out and put it in a report cover with a hand-drawn illustration, it looked like a REAL book!

Writing came to me in a way that seemed fluid and natural.  All through school, I sailed through essays, devoured books, and set my sights on being an English major in college. I wanted to be a capital W writer.

And even though I enjoyed writing and words and language, I never really felt like one of the “smart kids”.  I wasn’t in National Honor Society or getting straight A’s. Sure, I took a couple of AP classes, but I never really felt like I belonged.

When I got to college, I was determined to find my people and belong to something meaningful.  I started out as an English major.  My advisor was a Real Author and capitol W writer and intimidated the hell out of me.  He had a serious disposition and kind eyes;  I always anticipated and feared what would come out of his mouth in equal measure.

The other kids in my literature and writing classes were often the serious types who got all the literary and historical references that seemed to go right over my head. I quickly grew insecure about everything I didn’t know and doubted myself at every turn. I thought everything that came out of me was worthless and not worthy of sharing with the groups.

I changed my major and tried to forget that I wanted to be a Writer.

About 10 years later I started a blog and started enjoying writing again.  It was something simple and low-pressure. I would write about my knitting and other creative pursuits to share with other crafters. It was a safe space of my own making, and I didn’t put a lot of pressure on myself. At that time, it didn’t feel like there was a lot of judgement back then, even if your pictures were kind of crappy (mine totally were).

But over time, I started to really enjoy the process of writing, and that yearning to do it more seriously crept back into my consiousness.

So here I am nearly 20 years later, still longing to be a writer, still questioning whether I have something worthwhile to share.

It’s something I think about nearly every day.  Writing writing writing writing. Clearly something is pushing its way out of me, I just need to give it the time to come out.

What you focus on expands. You make time for what is important to you.

Writing is always on my list of unfulfilled dreams, a thing I often say I wish I did more of. And yet, when I have space to write in my day, I often fill it with other things.  Which leaves me with a continued sense of yearning.

Back in the fall I wrote about spending 15 minutes a day on something.  I typically choose to spend my 15 minutes reading or writing. After beginning this practice, I quickly noticed that after just a few days, my mind felt brighter and more eager, new ideas flowing in with ease.  I had tons of ideas for new blog posts, and even a little nugget for a book. Scary and thrilling!

It felt so good. And yet…

Sometimes I still procrastinate writing or getting really vulnerable and honest by doing other things that feel more productive.  I think I fill the space I could spend writing because I am afraid.  The more I avoid getting real on the page, the more this sense of yearning grows. And along with that yearning, a mounting sense of self-doubt.

If I want to write so much, why don’t I just do it?  Is it that I am afraid I don’t have anything to say?  Or is it the opposite: that I’m afraid I DO have something to say?


Knowing that we’re not alone in our insecurities and overwhelm can make such a difference in mindset.  What do you yearn to do?  Have you taken small steps to get closer to that goal?  I’d love to hear from you!

 

Create a new habit in just 15 minutes a day! via www.peacefulknitter.wordpress.com

15 minutes a day

 

Create a new habit in just 15 minutes a day! via www.peacefulknitter.wordpress.com

Morning rituals. Habit trackers. 10,000 hours. 21 days. Lifehacks. The Four Habits.

There’s so much advice out there for how to create new habits that help you achieve your goals.  I’ve considered many of them, and they just haven’t worked.

They haven’t worked because the chunk of time required seemed out of reach.  I’m a business owner and mom of two young children!  I don’t have a lot of open spaces in my day, and when I do (usually at the end of a full day) I often choose sleep or cuddling on the couch with my wife and the remote.

A lack of perceived time is a convenient excuse, and one I’ve leaned on a lot in recent years.

But the fact of the matter is, the time and space for achieving my goals is already there. I just haven’t been taking advantage of them.

It’s all too easy for me to spend 15 minutes in between activities scrolling through Instagram, checking my email, or browsing Pinterest.  At the end of the day I often wonder where I the time went. But it was there, hiding in those 15 minute increments.

At the end of almost every day I wished I had gone for a walk or done some writing.  I spent more time consuming content than creating it.

So, instead of wishing for it, I’m making myself do it.  15 minutes a day, first thing.

I’m sitting down at the laptop and writing whatever comes out of my head, for 15 minutes every morning.

Here’s what I’m doing:

  • committing to writing 15 minutes a day.
  • writing directly into a Google Doc so I can add to it or access it from anywhere.
  • setting a timer on my phone and making myself write until the time is up.  And sometimes I keep writing beyond the 15 minutes!  (high fives self)

It has been a beautiful practice.  A simple practice. And I feel so good about spending some time on an activity that I have been longing to make space for.

I don’t know where it’s going, and I’m not worried about that. The whole point is to begin. To not censor myself or edit as I go, or think about the content’s usefulness in my life or business. Just writing for the sake of writing. And it feels so good.

The more I commit to one 15 minute habit, the more space I’m seeing in my day for other habits.  The thrill of this practice has me thinking of the other things I’ve been longing to do. Those things that repeatedly tug at my attention, whispering You should do this…

I think meditation is next, probably at the end of my day.

What’s one thing you could do for 15 minutes a day? Let me know in the comments below!