Every time I commit to a non-negotiable writing schedule, God tests me.
And I fail. I don’t think commitment is my issue. I think it’s writing. I pass with flying colors the commitment to family… and Netflix,
Right now, I’m committed to watching all 300 seasons of Criminal Minds, but I’ve also had past relationships that have never been made public (although I’ve never had to pay anyone off to keep them quiet). It isn’t that I’m ashamed exactly; it’s just that I’m not sure about public perception. People might start thinking I’m addicted to Netflix; they’d do an intervention and then my husband would have to cancel my Netflix subscription. That would be horrible!
But I digress.
In September, I returned from a wonderful, fairy-tale trip to Ireland committed to writing all about the adventure. I even took myself to the library so I could write without distraction.
Then my mother was admitted to the hospital where she stayed, got sicker, was treated, and finally cured from four or five serious conditions over a three month period. I started out carrying my laptop to her hospital room and writing while she napped, but it soon became evident that I couldn’t take the time from her medical care to write when the doctors were…taking time from her medical care to write that is; they were writing treatment plans that extended her stay and did little to entertain, educate or inform, the three purposes for writing according to my 11th grade English teacher.
But at least someone had writing time. That’s something, I suppose.
Most recently, I re-started my writing commitment and my husband decided he should have a craniotomy…brain surgery. In his defense, it wasn’t optional.
Now that he’s home and recovering very quickly, I have a ton of ideas for humor essays based on things he said under the influence of pain meds and anesthetic. Questions he asked upon waking like, “they didn’t cut my hair did they?”, and “can I go home now?”; well, they made me laugh.
I cleared my schedule to watch him for signs of seizures, a common side effect to neurosurgery, so I have the time for my writing commitment. Of course, Netflix is intervening again…The Ranch.
Hey, no judgment!
So, here’s my new commitment…which is an old commitment that I learned from Natalie Goldberg.
- Writing Practice for 10 minutes.
It’s a half hour in the morning and it keeps my hand moving, my creativity lubricated and the ideas flowing.
It’s doable, sustainable…and done-able! It’s a way for me to honor my commitment to my husband AND my writing…
Thank you, Modern Medicine and Natalie Goldberg!
Your Mission, should you choose to accept it…is not Impossible:
- If you’re interested in writing teacher Natalie Goldberg, I recommend beginning with her book, Writing Down the Bones.
- If you’re interested in writing about your life, try Old Friend from Far Away.
- If you’d like to take a class from Natalie, Click Here for more information.
- And if you’d like to make a difference in the lives of other writers, please post a comment response to the following question:
How do you commit to your writing during stressful, busy times in your life?