What Will It Take?

What will it take you to commit to writing?

In my travels as a writer, teacher, and coach, I’ve listened to students and clients and people on the street tell me their stories about writing, or more to the point, Not Writing. 

What I hear is that many of these people have always had a dream to write. Perhaps they wrote poetry as a child, and always thought they’d get back to it one day.  Or maybe they had a couple short stories published long ago and now dream of writing a novel.  One friend had great early success with articles and then TV scripts, and now struggles to write a novel.

What happened? Life happened.

Along the way, life happened to these would-be writers.  The necessity to raise children, to earn a living, to care for elderly parents, and often to do all of these things at once, takes a toll on one’s creativity.  But then, something big happens.  Something that makes them want to re-commit to writing.  Something such as:

  • A landmark birthday (30, 40, 50, 60)
  • A major illness (my own personal kick in the pants)
  • An empty nest
  • Retirement
  • A parent dying
  • Getting laid off, or worse, fired
  • A child starting preschool
  • Divorce
  • Death of a parent

All of these things are life events that give one pause.   Finally, you may have time to do something for yourself.  Or perhaps you feel your own mortality pulling at you.  Maybe you’ve achieved great success in your career but still feel unfulfilled–because you know in your heart your own personal definition of success includes writing.

Are you facing, or in the middle of, one of these landmark events?  On the other hand, maybe your life is business as usual and all is going well, except for those nights when your eyes pop open at 3 AM and you lie in bed, dreaming of the screenplays you want to write. 

Whatever your situation, ask yourself a couple of questions:

  • What will it take?
  • If not now, when?
  • When and how can I get started?

Don’t wait until a major life crisis sets you on the path to your creativity.  Start now.  Right now.  Really.  Take ten minutes and write something.  You can do it, really you can. 

If you find you need help putting words on the page, email me at wordstrumpet@gmail.com.  If you need writing instruction, see my page on the writing program I direct, The Writing Loft. 

Happy writing!

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Jen
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Eek! I’m turning 30 in May, and it’s definitely been a factor in the renewed pressure to write. I feel this desperate need to MAKE IT HAPPEN–kind of now or never (even though I know that’s not true)…

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