heard you want to be a writer. Yes, you. Don’t look so surprised. You
weren’t seriously trying to keep it a secret, were you?
How did I know that this is what
you want to do? Because about 98 percent of the people I meet say they
want to be a writer. They usually add “One of these days when I get
around to it” or “Someday, when I’m not so busy” or “When I’m out of
school” or “When the kids are grown” or “When I retire” or “When I
learn to use a keyboard” or “When I have a place to write.” In fact,
I’ve heard so many excuses, it would take too much space to list them
all. But if you really want to be a writer, you will write, and no
excuse will stop you.
If you’re still in school and
you’ve written a story, ask your teacher to read it. Ask her what you
can do to make it better. Don’t get your feelings hurt if she says it
isn’t perfect. You have lots of years ahead of you to make your writing
better and better. If you start writing now, by the time you’re old
enough to make a career of it, you’ll be leaps and bounds ahead of
others who’ve waited (for whatever reason) to begin writing.
If you’re a young parent, time
is at a premium. Those sweet little children take a lot of attention
and we cannot neglect them. When I first started writing, my younger
daughter was two years old. She either stood beside me or sat on my lap
while I wrote. My older daughter sat across the kitchen table (I had no
desk or writing space) from me, with her crayons doing her own writing.
My mother, God bless her, fussed at me. She told me I should wait until
the kids were grown before I wrote books. The urge within me to write
was too strong to wait eighteen years, so I forged ahead with my goals.
I knew writing was my calling in life. My girls did not suffer; I
continued to be a good mother.
If you work full time, you
probably come home tired, even exhausted. All you want to do is eat a
quick meal and relax awhile before going to bed. If you have family,
you have even more responsibility when you get home. It’s tough, trying
to write while juggling job and family duties. But it can be done—if
you want it badly enough. When I worked from nine to five for someone
else, I took a notebook with me, and I wrote during my breaks and lunch
hour. I kept the notebook nearby and if we had any downtime at work, I
pulled my notebook out and wrote. Often, I got up at 5 a.m. to write
before going to work.
Why are you waiting to learn how
to keyboard (type)? It’s not difficult; an evening class at your local
community college could help. Or you can get a book at the library and
teach yourself. If
you shoot down these ideas, then
do what a lot of
people do: hunt and peck. The more you do it, the more you familiar you
are with letter placement, and the quicker you’ll write.
You say you’re too old to start
writing? There’s no age limit. That’s a nonsense excuse.
You don’t have a special place
to write? Then sit on your sofa or at your kitchen table or on the
floor, or go to the library or McDonald’s or the park. You can even
write while sitting in your car.
There is a popular saying: The
person who really wants to do something finds a way; the other person
finds an excuse.
God is the great Creator. We’re
made in His image, so it’s only natural that we have the urge to
create. If you harbor a strong urge to write, perhaps that is God
calling you. Honor Him by leaving excuses behind.
Whatever your goal is in life,
whether it’s writing, parenting, digging ditches, or building kites,
don’t let excuses stop you. You might be saying no to God.