Confessions of an unpublished author
There’s something I’m slowly realising as I get older – time for writing doesn’t magically appear, you have to make it yourself.
Here’s my next confession – all through my twenties I believed that one day I’d be a published author…but I got incredibly frustrated when this never happened. The reason it never happened? Because I either never made writing a priority or I never finished a book.
In hindsight, this seems like the most obvious thing in the world, but at the time, I was genuinely baffled as to why my dream didn’t seem to be coming true. After all, I had my blog (not this one, which kinda fits into the whole ‘not sticking with something’ vibe, doesn’t it) and I WANTED it so badly…surely the publishing gods would notice and pick ME to be the next-big-thing?! (Not even that tbh – if I could walk into a bookshop and see my book on a tiny dusty shelf out of way, I’d die happy).
It’s never nice to face to your own shortcomings, particularly if they don’t cast you in the best light. But I’d rather admit the truth to myself in the hope that I can a) help others who may be feeling or have felt the same way, and b) be a better writer and person because of it. Here’s what all those people who got those publishing deals have that I didn’t – they made writing a priority and had the guts to put themselves out there. They should be applauded for their effort and resilience.
Myself on the other hand? I’ve let my anxiety and perfectionism get in the way of my writing and my writing dreams for far too long, and then I’ve blamed other people or my circumstances as to why it’s never happened. I don’t want that anymore. I don’t want to be constantly looking outside myself as to the reason why my writing isn’t going the way I want it to. My friend said something to me this week that’s stuck with me; I was exhausted from working 5am – 7pm 7 days in a row, and I was feeling overwhelmed. I told her my fear that there’s never enough time and how I won’t achieve anything in life. She said, “the power is in your hands. Only you get to choose how to spend your time. You might not be able to do everything at once (and you shouldn’t try) but what can you put in place today, tomorrow, next week or next year, to make sure you’re working towards what YOU want?”
I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this. What I can I do to make sure that one day, my dreams come true? Can I write notes on my lunch break like I used to in my old office job? On my days off, can I dedicate half an hour to writing or blogging? How am I spending my time, and am I happy with that?
These are the questions I’ll be thinking deeply about over the next few weeks while I try and get some kind of routine in place. I’m well aware that I can’t do everything at once, but are there any small wins that would make me feel better about my writing time? After all, ten minutes a day over a few years is far better than no minutes a day forever.
How do you juggle your writing time with everyday life? Do you have any writing confessions you can admit to now, looking back?