I’ve mentioned a few times on this website my priorities. When I began writing my first ever novel, “Rhinos,” it was quickly made clear that I would have to set my priorities straight; at this point in my life, writing is only a hobby. Therefore, as a student, school shall be my first and number one priority.
Now, setting this priority (almost three years ago) at first was okay: at that time I had less school work to do, and had plenty of time to write. When I hit high school, however, I found it to be a bit more difficult to carve out a sufficient amount of time to get any writing done. Fast forward to current time, now in sophomore year, and it’s the exception to be able to sit down and work on my book.
Anyone who follows my blog only needs to take one look at my post history to see that, in the past seven months, I’ve only posted three times (including this one). Ouch. And I still haven’t finished my second novel, even though I said I would three months ago. Double ouch.
As much as I very badly want to feel guilty about this lack of progress, I cannot allow myself to. I have to remind myself that at the beginning of this whole thing, I set school as my priority. In doing so, I’ve maintained a 4.0 GPA, lettered and gone to state in girl’s golf, and further developed my playing ability on flute. All those things would’ve been a lot harder to accomplish if I hadn’t been able to put my writing away for a little while as I worked on other things.
To every writer out there, I encourage you to make priorities like I did, and don’t feel guilty when sticking to them. If spending time with your family is your priority, then you can’t allow yourself to feel guilty when participating in family game night instead of taking the evening to write. If your day-job is your priority, then you can’t allow yourself to be torn to shreds trying to incorporate writing into your busy schedule when you just don’t have the time or energy. And if you do have writing as your first priority, great! In your case, you can’t feel that guilty when declining a friend’s invite.
Whatever your first priority, if it’s not working out, it’s okay to replace it. Perhaps you tried writing as your first priority, and all you received was resentment from your friends and family. In that case, either talk to the people around you and make sure they are aware of writing being your priority, or, if it’s still not working out, switch your priorities. If you’re determined and passionate enough, the book will get done — just a little slower than you first thought.