Wednesday, April 20, 2011

No More Waiting

Go ahead. Ask me.

"Have you been writing?"

Here's my answer:


I've been writing. Or perhaps more accurately, I've been revising and reworking and reenergizing.

Is reenergizing a word? It is today.

I've been using my new office and loving it, even though I sometimes have to kick my daughter off my laptop. She has caught the writing bug, too, and when I read her stuff, I am amazed. Simply amazed. She had a very hard time learning to read and now, she flies through books and pens incredible prose. I may have to buy her a laptop of her own now...

I've also been trying to keep myself motivated. There are days I fall into a depression because I'm not able to stay home part-time and write (and let's be honest - how many writers actually get to do that, even part-time? If you do, consider yourself very, very blessed!). Instead, I've got the day job to deal with and bills to pay. This is how it is, and fighting it and feeling sorry for myself doesn't get me anywhere. It just sucks the energy and joy right out of me.

Enough, I say! (And so says God, who thumped me over the head with this statement the other night when I was having a pity party).

In that spirit, I made myself a few posters yesterday to help me. Both are World War II posters that I altered slightly to suit my needs. They now hang in a prominent place in my office.

Here's what I'm learning: there's no time like the present to use my writing gift.

That sounds simple, right? Something we all should know?

But how many of us are waiting until the right time to write or paint or compose music? Is there a magical "perfect time" to start doing these things?

No, there's not. And I should know as I have been on the other side.

Once, long ago (around 11 years), when I was pregnant with my daughter and had two young stepsons to take care of, my husband and I decided I should quit my job, stay home with the kids, and await the birth of our child. I was ecstatic. Look at all the time I had to write! Perfect, lovely, long stretches of writing time!

And before you say, "But you had two kids and a baby to take care of!" let me be the first to tell you that the boys were in school full-time and my daughter was the most well-behaved baby ever. I had time. I squandered it.

Do you know, in the almost five years that I stayed home and didn't work full-time, I didn't finish a single novel? (Of course, for the last two years, I was in graduate school, so I'm letting myself off the hook on that point). Caveat: I did get two short stories published, so I wasn't quite the slug I am making myself out to be.

Do you know when I actually finished my first novel? When I got a full-time job.

Funny how life works.

Since I've been working full-time, I've completed three novels.

Lately, I've allowed myself to look over the fence again and see the lovely stretches of green grass, and I'm ignoring the fact that it isn't any greener than the grass I am already on.

I am going to stay on this side of the fence for now because this is where God put me. Who knows what tomorrow or next week or next year holds? Not me. 

There is no perfect time.

Do it. Do what you love now. Squeeze it in where you can. Don't wait for that "magical moment" when conditions will be perfect. They will only be perfect in your daydreams. Reality is not so kind. Trust me.

No more waiting. Do what you love. Now.


  1. This is such a great post :) Very motivational. Thank you!

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  2. Yeah! Three cheers for the Big Mo! That was my blog topic today as well.

  3. Great post Melissa - you inspire me to keep moving on with my writing endeavors and I so appreciate it:-) LU

  4. Wonderfully inspiring! Thank you, Melissa.

    Love those posters, too.

  5. Great post Melissa! And so true. I squander time, and then kick myself for doing it. It's in the evening, when there is dinner to cook, and a kitchen to clean, etc....that I get irritated because I want to sew or write. Hello? I've had all day to do it. (kick, kick)

    There is no time like the present...and time is a present not to be wasted.

    I should hire you to make me a poster. I love yours!! :)

  6. Thanks, Sarah. I just hope I can keep up my motivation! That's the hard part. :-)

    Travis - You're doing awesome with your writing projects!!! Keep it up!

    Glad to help, Mom! :-)

    Janna - Thanks. :-)

    Valerie - Oh, I completely understand. When I get home from the day job, sometimes the last thing I want to do is write. I get a lot of my work done on the weekends, but I need to do more during the week, too, if I'm ever going to see that dream of mine become reality!

  7. Loved your posters...loved your post. You make your muse proud!

  8. LOVE this! Thanks for this post, Melissa.

  9. Great post, Melissa. I started writing because I didn't want my epitaph to be "She meant to write a book." I can always find a million and one excuses not to write on any given day, but I am proud to say that most of the time I put my behind in my chair and crank out my daily quota. I have been distracted lately by some home improvements projects and a house guest, but I am finally ready to put all that behind me and get back to work. So your post comes at a perfect time for me. Thank you!

  10. Oh, thank you Melissa. This is just what I needed to hear today! ;-) No whining and just get on with it. Sometimes I need a kick along the way, this is a good one. It's been a busy week but I've managed to send off a chapter for critiquing. And, this evening I'm planning on more editing.

    Happy Writing! ;-)

    PS: Awesome that your daughter is writing too!

  11. Bailey - Thank you! :-)

    Christine - Thanks!

    Pam - Good for you! I was distracted for about a month with moving from the apartment to the house, plus home improvement on the new place, so I know what you've been going through. Glad it's starting to settle down!

    Talei - I'm so glad it helped! Now the trick is to remind myself of this advice EVERY DAY, thus the posters in my office. Self-motivation is really hard sometimes. Thank goodness for the blog world! :-)

  12. Time is the only thing God keeps giving us over and over again, no matter how badly we misuse it or squander it, because at some point in time we all learn to use it wisely, even if it's only for a moment. It is never to late in life to begin a dream, a goal. God's timing is always perfect. I have learned that the busier I am, the more I get done. Deadlines are more easily met when we have a full plate. That's why you were able to accomplish more in a busier lifestyle, because your time was more valuable to you. Good entry today.

  13. Great posters.

    Go, you, with your writing! I've always found that the busier I am, the more I manage to fit into my day.

  14. Thank you, Sandi. :-) I agree - God's timing is always perfect, even when we wish He would hurry things up a little! But He knows exactly what He's doing. :-)

    Debs - It's strange, isn't it, that when we're busy, we get lots and lots accomplished! Guess that's a good thing.

  15. I love your modified posters! Esp. the gifts one!!! I do work part time and still lament about not having writing time. I'll just shut up now. So neat about your daughter getting into writing. My daughter also struggled so much with her reading, now she seems to be over the hump - and she likes to write, too!!! I love it! Except when we are fighting over the laptop. How old is your daughter? Mine is 9 almost 10.

  16. Hi Margo! Thanks for stopping by. My daughter will be 11 next month, so I'm thinking a laptop would be a perfect gift - if only I could afford it! LOL I'm so pleased that she's writing, too. She will spend hours at the computer. In fact, she's done more writing this week than I have!

  17. Hi Melissa. Wow. Yes this is very motivational.

    And I'm with Debs - the less time I have, the more focused I seem to be.


  18. I have a friend who gets to write full time and she's told me on several occasions that she's not sure how she would do it if she had to work. I'm not sure how to do it and I only work part time.

    Such great advice and now I will stop feeling sorry for myself.

  19. Bluestocking - Odd, isn't it? I'm not sure why it is that we get so much more done when we have less time to do it in!

    Patti - I think it is different for all of us. I really wish I would have used my time more wisely when I didn't have to work. I wonder if now I would be more productive if I didn't have a job since I'm older and (hopefully!) wiser. :-)


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