You want to write a book. It is on your to- do list right between Lose Weight and Travel More. It’s one of those things you definitely want to get to before you die. Or maybe you are more serious, you have a notes, outlines, a good idea about who your main character will be. You, at least, know it will be about a man. Or a woman. Definitely one or the other.
Still writing a novel is your dream.
But how much respect are you showing that dream? Do you work toward it every day? Week? Month? Ever? Do you think you will die wanting to write a book or having written a book?
I know all the stall tactics. I’ve done them. I’ve said “I’ll write after the holidays,” and I have said “I’ll start that novel as soon as life calms down a bit.” I’ve made writing like dieting, always next month.
Then I read one of those inspirational self- help style books for aspiring writers. In it one part spoke about how many hours you have each day and the sacrifices you have to make in order to write. No, you don’t have to stop watching American Idol, never see another Superbowl, or go without your daily fix of Access Hollywood- we all want to know what is the current status of Britney’s Spears hair, don’t we?
But what if you did have to give up all that in order to become a published writer? Could you? Could you stay inside hunched over a computer on the first day of Spring when you can almost feel the breeze calling your name? Could you type until you work up a sweat, your hands cramp, and your eyes feel like they will bleed? Of course, you could. Will you?
To become a published writer you don’t have to give up everything else in your life. All your experiences make you a more well rounded person and a better writer. But you do have to give up something. And it just might be Oprah.
Take one hour of TV watching a day and instead write. Even when you have nothing to say, write. Even when you think you are a talentless hack, write. Even though no one may ever see your words, besides your mom. That is if you could convince her that your half-finished novel about aliens who take over the bodies of Hollywood A-listers is a Mother’s Day present. Even if no one but your cat knows you are a writer, write.
If your dream is to write a novel then you have to give up something to get that dream. Once you are writing everyday you are moving toward your goal. It’s easy to say one day. Let that one day be today.
If not today, when? When Oprah is over?
Or are you going to put your dreams first for once?
Are you still reading this? Grab a pen or open a word document. Write that novel. Now.
By Sara Pufahl
If you are a writer who aspires to write your first novel but needs support and encouragment then join Brand New Aspiring Writers Group