By Guest Blogger Robbi Hess
“I want to be a writer, but…” I hear this from many writers every time I speak at a conference. Believe me, I know how BIG the BUT can be — I’ve been there, done that and unfortunately when it comes to wrapping up my novel, I am STILL there.
When it comes to writing for myself, though, I make time to do it every day, regardless of what my life looks like at a particular time. Back in the day when I held down a full-time-outside-of-the-house-job, there were days when I didn’t write a word for myself and let me tell you, after a couple of days of not being “creative for me”, I felt the negative effect.
I made a concerted effort — that full time job or no full time job — I HAD to write. My driving force for having to write? I, honestly do not play well with others on the long-term so I yearned to either work part time outside of the house and part time as a paid writer or I wanted to be a full time stay at home writer. I simply had the impetus to get my writing life on track — and I did.
I started out by entering writing contests. After several failed attempts, I won first place in a romance contest for The Writer’s Journal and that story and cover still grace my office wall in its framed glory and it reminds me of how far I’ve come. Spurred on by that win, I started writing confession magazine stories and went on to publish more than three dozen (and counting). I honed my skill so much with those stories that I started teaching writing classes (see how it is all snowballing?) Eventually, I contacted the local newspaper and asked about writing short pieces for them — I was persistent, they gave in and I started being a contributing writer (many times in the beginning I wrote for free, simply to garner clips and it paid off).
In the days when I held a full time job and worked from 8-5 I would get up early and write before work, I’d spend time on my lunch hour jotting down notes and I’d find that I would wake in the middle of the night and jot down more notes and ideas. It wasn’t always easy, but writing begets writing.
Now I am living my dream of being a full time write from home writer BUT there are days when I think if I never have to write another word it will be too soon! It is sometimes hard to find time for my own writing (my confession stories) when i am churning out copy for several clients. BUT after a few days of not working on something for my own edification I step back, look at my calendar and realize that there’s no reason I can’t wake up a bit earlier and work on my own writing before I dive into that work that the clients have contracted me for.
It can be done. It’s not always easy but if you want it badly enough you’ll make it happen. What’s your “But”?