Last week was kind of a weird week for us. New to preschool and needing to strengthen her immunity, Piper had gotten sick. And thus we were thrown out of our cool new schedule we had waited so long for. Chores had to get shifted around, projects needed to be put off, yada yada yada …. It’s hard to get everything done when pulled out of your routine. I was a lot more disciplined in my youth. I could do my schoolwork and practice music every day without fail. It was easier back then to simply make time to get things done. But now—I have responsibilities!
Being in a marriage, having a kid, and taking care of a house all take a lot of work. Everything takes work. And don’t listen to people who say, “Well, a relationship shouldn’t be so much work.” If you watch those people long enough, they all get divorced. Yes, any relationship and/or marriage should be fun, rewarding, exciting—all those things; but is also takes work and effort. It’s like a garden, the plants need tending and care from time to time to keep the life flowing. Otherwise, the weeds grow, the plants wither, and then you’re in trouble.
The point is, everything takes work and time, which takes time and focus away from creative endeavors. It’s difficult to have the discipline to push through it all. Which is why feedback is so important. The other day, I got a comment on my piece for the It Gets Better Project, from an LGBT teen who appreciated the article. That matters so much to me, because it’s like the old saying, “If what I do helps or matters to even one person, then this won’t all have been a waste of time.”
Writing is by nature a private endeavor. Of course, some may be lucky enough to have agents, people at publishing companies, etc, who can provide support and/or a kick in the pants from time to time. The rest of us are on our own. Our motivation must come from within. Yet everyone has doubt, everyone has the temptation to stop. Even Jesus had doubt. It’s important to recognize that it’s normal to have those feelings. Like a panic attack, once you experience it you realize, “Hey, this happens. This won’t kill me, I can keep going on.” Doubt is normal, it happens to everyone, and it won’t kill you. Keep going.
Recently, Amy and I were watching Doctor Who, and at the end of the episode the Doctor and his companion Amy Pond asked Winston Churchill what he was going to do next. He simply responded, “KBO—keep buggering on!” Apparently this was something Winston Churchill actually said. But that’s what we all need to do, what we all have to do—simply keep buggering on.
What things get in the way of your own personal endeavors? How do you push through and keep your focus?
I go through times where I’m really diligent, and others–like these–where I struggle. I’m probably a couple thousand words from finishing my current WIP, but do you suppose that’s inspiring me? Nope, but . . . I know I’ll be back on my game soon. I’m trying to find my way back even now, after a stressful last month or so.
I try to think about it like- time moves, even if we don’t. So we might as well put our shoulders back to our respective grindstones and try to move with it. Struggling is normal (but still a pain in the arse). Keep buggering on!