Once upon a time, there was a boy and a girl. They got married yesterday and lived happily ever after. The End.
Or is it…? I do hope for that happily ever after, though. But making the commitment isn’t the end, it’s the beginning.
Getting married is a serious commitment. You make a promise for a lifetime with another person, to be their support no matter what happens. It’s not something you break when things go bad. It’s a promise that you’ll do everything in your power to make it last.
Committing to the Art
I had a day job that I quit due to various reasons, my health being one of them. Before I quit, however, , I only had a precious few hours to use for myself a day, and I needed those to take care of myself. Progress on my novel was slow.
While many writers are capable of writing a novel one page a day for a year to complete a book, I know that I can’t do that. I tried. Further, my health would take a bad turn if I cut back on my sleep. All in all, with a job – no matter how much I wanted to – I wasn’t in a position to commit to what I wanted to do. Now I can, I will and I do.
This kind of commitment is what you need as a writer. Being a writer isn’t a one time thing. Writers write. We happen to publish their stories, but writing is our main drive. We love to write. We live to write. And I believe everyone is secretly a writer and only a small percentage is courageous enough to make that commitment, to write long enough to finish a story.
Making the decision to commit to writing can start out small, like writing a page a day. The trick is to keep this up. If you do have a bad day, try to write a sentence. Soon enough writing one page a day will turn into a habit. That’s something you can build on. Expand. Tell others that you write. They can hold you accountable for when you don’t. It’s okay if you need other people to stick to writing, because, secretly, we don’t write alone.
There’s something a writer needs besides commitment: support. Support comes in many forms. My new husband gave me the opportunity to focus on writing full time. He has allowed me to commit to writing with his support, moral and financially. Raven is also supporting me in my writing endeavours, by kicking my butt when I don’t write, motivating me, giving me feedback, brainstorming and editing my work. (Editor’s Note: She does the same for me, and it’s been a privilege and an honour. Here’s to many more years!)
Having a fellow writer keep check on you is valuable. There’s a reason events like NaNoWriMo, Camp NaNo and any writer’s retreat is so popular. A writer’s profession is a solitary one. We don’t technically need other people, especially with self publishing being easier than ever before, but we grow the most when we team up with others. Listen, read, learn from each other. Find your support.
Raven and I are part of the Priscorum discord. Writers and artists gather and share their experience. Write-ins are organised during the NaNo-events, but also in off weeks for whoever is interested. We offer our feedback on scenes someone’s not sure about and share our knowledge of our areas of expertise. We share information on the publishing world, awards and contests. Feel free to join us and engage in the conversation. We can be your support too.
Commitment and support., They’re important in our daily lives. Not just in our relationships, but professionally or while practicing our hobbies. It’s what makes us grow. The first part of being a writer is to say you’re a writer. After that you write and don’t stop writing.