My dream for the last nine years has been a published author. However, writing a book is such a tremendous task to undertake, and I had no idea how to tackle it. The idea was so daunting, I quickly put pushed the thought of doing it out of my mind, and carried on with my life. However, the desire would not go away, and I ignored it for an entire year. When I finally gave in to it, I had no idea what to write about. Then I remembered hearing that one should always write about what they know. Well, I know people, and relationships. Over the course of several years, I took a paper notepad with me everywhere I went, including to bed, and would write whenever the mood struck me. Seven years later, I had an entire notebook filled with a hand written story, one that I liked.
Fast forward to October 13, 2015, my debut novel, Glimmer in the Darkness, was released. It had taken eight long years from my writing the first word, until the release date, but I didn’t care, I had done it. It took that long, because I did not make writing a priority in my life. It was a thought that became an idea, which morphed into a dream, developed into a goal, and finally, a reality.
It was not until I turned my thought into a goal that I became serious about how to accomplish it. There were always other aspects of my life, which made it impossible for me to dive in full force with all of my time and ability. I am a wife, mother of six, and full time social worker. All of those titles come with responsibilities, most of which simply could not be put on hold, in order for me to focus all of my time and attention to writing a novel. However, as my desire for something different and uniquely mine deepened, I stole time to do things like take online courses about writing, and to write skits and plays for church, but still not conquering the enormity of my novel. I say stole, because it was time that had once been allotted to other, equally as important, tasks in my daily life. Many days some aspect of my already overwhelming responsibilities suffered. However, I was on a mission for change, and could not bog myself down with worry, about what wasn’t getting done.
Once, I got over my fear and tackling a novel, which was where taking online courses and writing for church helped enormously, I had to figure out a way to balance the hours, God gives us, and etch out consistent time for completing my novel. The more my passion developed, the more I realized that I needed more time. I just had to find it. That is when everything got real for me. I had to be willing to change the way I thought about my life and what was important. I gave up, trying to clean every day. I am not ashamed to say that most days, my house is not ready for uninvited guest. I enforced a cut off time as to when I would help with homework, sign papers, or have school related discussions with my kids. I haven’t pushed them completely to the side, but I stop making their needs a priority during the week no later than nine in the evening, and until I go to bed. On the weekends, my cut off time starts right after I get off work and lasts until my eyes open at five o’clock Monday morning. That does not mean, I do nothing related to my other titles, it means that during those hours my title of author takes precedence. I even go so far as to decide not to discuss with my thirteen year old, who loves to argue, issues that I know will take a lot of time. Don’t get me wrong, he does not get away with anything, there are consequence, just no discussion until a later date.
It took a long time to realize that my six children can be more responsible for helping out around the house, and their personal upkeep, than I allow, and that my husband can be more helpful. Once I became serious about changing my profession, I stopped taking kids back to school to get homework assignments they forgot (insert wink here). They now have to suffer the natural consequences of their forgetfulness.
All in All, I had to decide that my dream is more important than dirty laundry, coddling my kids, and even my current profession. I am learning to think critically about my time, doing my best to maximize as much as I can, but relaxing when needed. I do the best I can, at whatever task, I am doing. At the end of the day, that is all anyone can ask.
Gone are the days where an individual has to resolve to do only one thing in life and crush their dreams for the sake of stability and longevity. Day to day life comes packed full of jobs and activities required for sheer survival. Remember, drive and determination can help you find balance where none seems to exist. The desire to be different will act as the pilot of your vehicle of change. Turn your thoughts into dreams, your dreams into goals, and decide to drive yourself to a place where you love what you do…not matter what obstacle are stand in the way.