Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Pathways & Perseverence!

It's a simple thing to compare the choices we make to the paths we take. We hear it all the time. What we choose will affect the path we're on. YES! There's no getting around it. That's a simple truth, and that is where my mind has been as of late. 

My writing has pretty much come to a stand still. I took on more hours at work, signed my kids up for more classes, am going to school full-time, doing books for our farm, as well as trying to fulfill church callings and other things. Am I unique in my hectic schedule? NO! Sometimes I feel like I am, but in truth - I'm NOT! You all have busy lives that you work around and you all amaze me! You inspire me!
So, here's what I've shared with some friends at the writing conference, and I will share it with you now. My truth... my kids are young and I am not willing to sacrifice my time with them. Being a writer, or pursuing any dream, is about sacrifice. These years are too important to me, and I don't want to give them up.

From the time I get home, I am making dinner, helping with homework, running kids to practices and lessons, playing with them, pretending I intend to clean the house, doing laundry, bathing children, and getting them in bed. (I'm sure this sounds familiar!) Then it's homework time. This used to be my "writing" time, but has now turned into homework time. 

Eventually I'm out of hours, unless of course I don't sleep, which I've already cut back on some of that too. What an interesting book I could write during my delirium though! HA! Might be interesting!

So, my job isn't to make excuses here. But, in order to make a schedule you need to know your priorities. My kids will always be at the top of my priority list, and unfortunately, I can't afford not to have school toward the top too.

What I've come to realize...
My time will come! One day I will have more time to write, and I will write my heart out! And I won't have regrets!

Does that mean I should quit, even just for now?
 HECK NO!!!
I'm going to strap on my little mouse helmet and get me some cheese!!! There are still choices to make. Still important decisions that can help me along my way. Here are a goals that are helping me:
  1. Set small, achievable, goals.
  2. Hit a daily limit! Even if it's only 500 words a day, at least I'm moving forward!
  3. Reevaluate priorities. There are other places I can sacrifice that won't take away from time with my children.
Will it work? YES - if I stick with it! The path is never easy, but it's not supposed to be! The rewards would be so much less enjoyable if we didn't have to work hard for it! So keep it up to all of you who have finally made it! And never give up, to all of those who are still climbing that mountain! I don't think the climb ever stops. We just keep reaching different lookout points along the journey!
 What are some things you do to help you stay organized, and keep moving forward?

21 comments:

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I think your three goals sound great. Hey, maybe you and your kids can all do your "homework" - writing! - together? :)

Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Writers tend to be impatient, but it doesn't have to happen now. Spend time with your kids. More important. Work the writing in when you can. Your day will come.

ilima said...

I'm a firm believer in a time and a season for everything, and you are awesome for focusing on your kids right now. I think 500 words a day is palenty. More than I can do a lot of the time. Go you!

Kyra Lennon said...

Excellent post! I love that you are so focused on your kids - you're right, this time is important, and it doesn't come around again. Setting small goals and shuffling forward slowly is a good thing, and you might find you end up writing more this way. How many times have all of us sat down for a writing session then been distracted by other things (Facebook lol)? People who have less time always seem to get more done!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

You will never, ever regret the time you spend with your kids. That is one job we can only do once. We can write when we're 90, there is no time limit on that dream!

I wrote Past Due over a five year period...in notebooks...as I ran kids to practices and wrote from parking lots. We're creative, with our words and our time!

Tammy Theriault said...

This is exactly true for me!!! I can't write daily or even every other day. Just too much time I focus on my family because in the end .... They are my everything.

Crystal Collier said...

Whew! I am SO with you. There will be more time for writing as the kids get older, and there are always things we can rearrange for our priorities. When there's not a ton of time to write, snippets of time will do. That's how I squeezed my reading in. I do a good portion of it in the car. No, I'm not talking audio books, I'm talking stop lights. Insane right? But every second is a precious morsel. You have to get creative about how to use them. =)

J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, Leigh,
The truth is we have to do what's important and has the most priority. Love your attitude and that picture with the mouse.

Small, achievable goals add up over time. Go for it!

Nick Wilford said...

You've got your priorities in the right order by focussing on the kids. That time won't come back. And as others have said, even an hour a day can work wonders. At one point early morning writing was good for me, but I've started a paper round, so that's out! Seriously, it can be the best time when the house is quiet (rare with kids!) I'm inspired by your post and I'm sure you'll keep moving forward.

Jay Noel said...

It's all about priorities, and you have yours straight! Our kiddos grow up so fast, and it's too important of a time in your life to sacrifice it.

Kimberly said...

All of this used to be true for me but my children have since grown and flown from the nest (although one is coming back for a couple of months but I'm so happy about that!) I did totally stop writing at that time because I didn't think I could do it all - I LOVE that you have set little goals and that you are still going to do it!!! I wish I would have at that time.

debi o'neille said...

I took writing much slower when my kids were young, because like you, I didn't want to miss their lives. I don't regret it. I was also in college during their young years, and I loved taking children's literature classes, which for homework always involved reading children's stories, which I read aloud to my kids. They remember me reading to them and loved it. They are all avid readers today, and one hopes to be a novelist someday. No regrets, that's how to get through life. Now I have more time to write, and one daughter who always asks if I have anything new she can read.
Have a good day and hug those kids.
Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

Suzi said...

You can do it!

My kids are to that age where they don't always want to play with mom. Well the older one is definitely. But there's still a million and one activities to get to.

After kids bed used to be a good time for me, but that's gone. I'm either exhausted, or more likely, the kids aren't in bed until too late, so then it's about my bed time after that. :)

Emily R. King said...

I'm right there with you, Leigh! The time when our children are small is so short. I don't want to miss any of it, even if it means waiting a little longer for less important things like--gasp--being published. :) Thanks for the reminder on keeping an eternal perspective.

Patricia T. said...

Being a mother is the most important thing for you right now. Your kids are at an age where you don't want to miss a moment. Believe me, if you blink, they will be in college. You can play with writing and include them. You have to follow your heart!

Sorry I haven't been around, but have been on vacation for two weeks and gave myself permission not to write/blog. :)

Donna K. Weaver said...

Great goals because I agree with your. Your children and family are more important than anything else. But that doesn't mean there shouldn't be some time for you. Sometimes we have to do a lot of your #3--evaluate your priorities because there are lots of things that press for our time that aren't even on our list.

David P. King said...

You're juggling many of the same things I've been reevaluating lately. Little, manageable goals are a great way to go when other priorities need your attention. So long as you have that dream, you will make it. :)

Stephanie Faris said...

Writing is writing, whether you're working on a novel or jotting a few thoughts down for a blog. I started writing in 1995 and stopped writing NOVELS in 2004--but I almost immediately started blogging and blogged for several years. When I did return to novels, I landed an agent within 2 years because I'd be honing my craft and growing as a person and a writer. I'm guessing that's what these years will be for you!

Jennifer Ruth Jackson said...

It sounds chaotic, but wonderful.
Small goals seem like they don't amount to much but they do. Every single book is written the same way... one word at a time.

Nicole said...

Leigh, I love this post. Good for you! It takes such grace to stick to life's real priorities while still holding to your dreams. I think it's something we all struggle with (I know I do!), and these words and your perspective are such an encouragement.

Cortney Pearson said...

LEIGH. I totally made a comment on this last week, but I'd been sitting in my car in the kindergarten pickup line and my phone was slow and obviously it didn't make it here. Just know that I really loved what you said, lol!!!

Family is SO important, I loved this post!! <3