My friend Ben from my writer’s group posted on his blog about an epiphany he had while attending a conference:
“Writing has to be more important than sleep if I want to start finishing novels.”
As I read his post, I wanted to cry. Because he speaks truth. An unfortunate, sad, tearful truth. I love sleep. Like love, love, love it. And getting up in the morning is the hardest thing for me, especially if it’s dark out.
But during the day, my dear little girl needs too much attention for me to really get into writing. And I feel guilty if I have a messy house and could be cleaning. And in the evening, I finally get time to spend with my husband. So when is writing time possible? In the early morning, I guess.
On another blog I follow, Rants and Ramblings On Life as a Literary Agent, Rachel Gardner also posted that writing is a lifestyle and can’t be something you do on the side. She was talking about the work authors have to put in to being successful. And I understand that. If I get published, you better believe I plan on putting time into it.
The bottom line? Being a writer means sacrifice. I never thought about it before. But now that I have thought about it, I’ve decided I won’t sacrifice time with my family. Carol Lynch Williams gave a tip to help keep publishing in perspective. She said:
“You can’t take it with you. The best part of my life hasn’t been my publications. The best part of my life is my relationships with others, especially with my children. These relationships have been most worthwhile and are a darn good reason to live. The books have been a nice bonus, but I would never trade the two.”
But sleep–I can possibly handle giving up sleep. (It helps that my baby is an angel child who has slept through the night since she was 2 months old.)
I think every writer has to figure out what he or she is willing to sacrifice to do what they love. It helps to have the introspective moments, I think, to keep things in perspective.
What do you have to sacrifice to be a writer? What will you not sacrifice? (P.S. It doesn’t have to be all serious. This post ended kind of serious, but even “silly” sacrifices are sacrifices. For example, if I had to give up chocolate to think clearly enough to type, I’m not sure I could do it ;) )