I read an article today titled, “Make a New Commitment to Your Writing” by Elizabeth Sims via Writer’s Digest Yearbook magazine. It was an absolutely fantastic read. I grabbed it at Barnes and Noble should you wish to snag it.
This post will in no way, shape or form do the article justice. However, some of the things she had to say stood out to me and I wanted to share.
The 10 steps of commitment to your writing are:
- Take leaps of faith
- Unleash your passions
- Relinquish control
- Accept that nothing is perfect
- Muster your optimism. You can do this!
- Trust the path
- Take a vow of faithfulness — and keep it
- Devote yourself to unconditional love
- Believe that everything will work out right in the end
I fully stand behind her steps and the reasons she gives for them. In some ways they will look different for every person. For instance, in step 8 (take a vow of faithfulness — and keep it) she tells readers/writers to give writing your best and utmost time and attention. I can’t and won’t do that because I have a 13 month old at home. Scout needs my best and utmost attention, but nap times and post-bedtime I have utlized for writing and it’s worked out great thus far.
So, without any further ado, here are my favorite quotes from said article:
- From Step 1 (take leaps of faith), “Whatever you doubt you can do on the page, choose that thing.” I LOVE this. I am going to frame it and stick in on the wall of my writing area at home. When I am working on short stories or flash fiction I will have an idea and immediately nix it because I am worried about what readers will think of me. DUMB! Isn’t that the point? If you want to make it as a writer, you have to bring something fresh. You need to stand out. You need to push the envelope. Choose that thing. You know what that is.
- In step 7 (trust the path) she says, “Don’t worry if you feel lost. We all feel lost sometimes. We all are lost, sometimes.” I know it sounds silly, but when I feel lost while writing I start to believe that I am wasting my time. What good writer gets lost? Surely J.K. Rowling never felt lost, Stephen King would never get lost, Francine Rivers for sure never struggled with feelings of lostness. Right? Wrong. Instead of viewing authors I admire as super-humans I am choosing to remember that they are who they are because they walked through the fog and came out on the other side. Being lost is okay. Staying lost is not.
- The third and final quote from the article is my favorite. I know we’ve heard this in a billion different ways but it’s important stuff. Also from Step 7 she says, “Only one thing is absolutely certain: If you quit, you’ll never succeed.” I’m new to the game of seriously pursuing a writing career. The dream had been on a dusty shelf for many years. As I’ve mentioned in numerous other posts I’m a new(ish) mom. I had my firstborn in April 2015 and starting chasing my dream of writing when Scout was 11 months old. Now, I’m not willing to sacrifice my role as a stay-at-home-mom. It’s a role I take very seriously and I gladly give it my best hours. But that’s a choice. At the same time, I really feel like there is a plan for me in the world of writing. It will look different from what I had initially envisioned. But, dedicating 4 good hours a day to writing (two naps and after her bedtime) is better than no time at all. Little by little one travels far. Make it happen!