Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Epiphany -or- "How bad do you want it"

Several weeks ago I had an epiphany. Glad I did.* My epiphany was this: how bad did I want to be a writer?

It is a question every writer, from the “I’d like to write a novel someday” aspirant to Mary Falkner, needs to ask herself.

How bad? How really, really bad, do you want it?

My answer: really, really bad.

The second question: So, what’s stopping you?

Don’t think this answer is a cop-out, or someone calling you on your lack of faith. It is an honest-to-good introspection. If you are not writing prolifically every day, why not? What stops you from sitting down and cranking out draft until you pass out from sheer exhaustion?

Well, the need for sleep, for one. Young children who need their mom. The need to eat, the day job to pay the bills, other necessary obligations (dishes? Nah). There will always be things in your life that will be more important than writing.

But what about the Internet? Is it more important than your writing? How about games? Television? What little time-wasters are you indulging in when you could be writing?

Next question: Why are you letting these time-wasters get in the way of your writing? Don’t let this question fool you. It’s not saying, “get off your lazy butt and write!” It’s asking for the reasons behind why you chose to watch television, or play Angry Birds or Facebook instead of writing.

Why was your desire to catch up on “2 Broke Girls” more enticing than finishing a scene? Whatever the reason, perhaps it’s something you must address. Did you choose to flop in front of the television because you were tired? Once in a while is okay. All the time is not. Examine your logic. (See question #1. How bad do you want to write? If you answered truly with “really, really bad”, your soul will find the energy from somewhere, somehow, to write. Only when you fall asleep on your keyboard, or your spousal unit demands you retire to bed, should you acknowledge your tiredness (as in, “Where did that yawn come from?”).)

Want it bad enough? It will drive you. Drive you forward, drive to completion, drive you to another plane of existence, drive you spare, to distraction, to go mad.

But you will always come back to it, because if you want it truly, madly, deeply, you cannot help but come back. You can’t not write.

Maybe writing is not as important as you want it to be. That’s okay. But do be honest with yourself. If you don’t want it so bad your eyeballs turn yellow, accept that, and be content with being a weekend writer and the occasional published short story. There is nothing wrong with that.

Unless you really want it so bad, dominatrices send you their cards. If so, acknowledge just how important it is and give in to your highest dream.

*Epiphanies are always straightforward and direct. But you can’t rush ‘em. This irks me. Five minutes ago, I was wondering, “Why didn’t this epiphany come five years ago, when I really needed it, or even ten years ago? They come when they are ready to come, and when you are ready for them. It’s some sort of juxtaposition of synergy thing. What I am doing now, I wanted to do five/ten/twenty years ago. But I didn’t. I’m still not sure why, but I wasn’t ready. I wish I was. Imagine all the mighty things I could have accomplished! But I got it now, and I acted upon it right away. I berate myself for letting me be so stupid and lazy and not believing in my dream enough. But then sometimes I need to learn the hard way. This time, I’m hoping to stick to my guns. I’m going to tap into that bit of me deep down that really REALLY wants this. I’m going to be bold. I’m not going to shirk. __________________________________________
Her Grace has cranked out thirty thousand words since the epiphany nearly three weeks ago, despite the day job, her family and church callings. As a result, her Facebook page is sparse, her TV recordings are piling up and Their Ladyships are learning independence immersion-style. She’ll be looking for a few good beta-readers soon.

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