Now that you know what’s most important to you and what you want out of life, what’s stopping you from getting it?
For everyone it’s different.
One day, in late 2006 I said, “wow, I always thought I’d be published by now.”
Then, I thought, “wait. Why am I not published? Oh yeah, you have to actually sit down and write and entire book first.”
I had started many stories, but never finished anything.
So, I made it my goal for 2007 to put my butt in a chair, my hands on the keyboard, and write and entire book. After two false starts, I wrote four complete manuscripts that year.
Most of them lacked plots.
But, I did it, I wrote an entire manuscript, which is a huge first step.
What’s your first step?
Fear can hold us back.
It took me an entire year after I finished one particular MS to actually do anything with it (query it, put it in a contest, etc). I was afraid. But eventually, I bit the bullet and sent it off into the world.
The MS also was, um, lacking…but eventually I put it out, then learned enough to pull it back in and work on/submit something else.
Unfortunately not everything holding us back can be helped.
I spend a good three hours commuting back and forth to work every day. That’s three hours I could be writing, playing with the tot, or even doing laundry.
Unfortunately, right now, there isn’t anything I can do about it.
Not everyone is in a place to quit their job to follow their passion either—or want to.
In all honesty, I didn’t see a drastic increase in writing when I was unemployed. I saw a drastic increase in cleaning the house and using social media. Right now, I use my time better when I don’t have much of it, and I like my job, commute aside.
What holds you back?
Time is another thing that holds us back.
Our time is limited, and well, as much as we want to achieve our dream, I, at least, am not willing to sacrifice certain things for it – like my family.
But, there isn’t enough time to do everything.
My hubby refers to projects and time commitments as “socks in a drawer.” You can only fit so many socks in the drawer before it won’t close, and if you keep trying to close it stuffed full, it’ll break.
Sometimes you have to remove “socks” in order to make time.
It can be as simple as prioritizing.
In all honesty, keeping a spotless house isn’t that important to be. Granted, I don’t want a dirty house, but I’m not going to obsess.
In order to make time for the things that matter most, I’m willing to do a bulk of my household chores on weekends and I know that I’ll never win a “good housekeeping” award. I do clean things/wash clothes/etc. during the week when they need it, but again, I’m not obsessing.
But that’s my comfort level.
To someone else, a spotless house might be important—I know many people who can’t sit down to “work” in a messy room.
I watch very little TV.
I love to read, but I’d rather write, so my leisure reading has been cut back.
Maybe it’s cutting out time-suck friends who get you down more often than not, maybe it’s paring down social activities/obligations, maybe saying “no” to outside things more often (not your kiddos or hubby but all those other things that eat up our time), maybe it’s turning of the TV, or turning off your internet. I know several people who swear by Freedom, an internet blocking software.
What are you willing to let go of/cut back on to make more time to pursue what means most to you?
Next week we’ll get into creative time management.