One of my other posts was about the three stages of writing, and I had compared it to the three stages of weight loss I learned from Weight Watchers. Since I worked for WW for about 15 years, I learned a lot, so I’m going to use something else I learned from them. How badly do you want it?
What really started me thinking about his again was when I was complaining the other day about my weight loss efforts. My husband simply said, “You’ve got to want it bad enough.” And I had heard that very thing, and taught it, at Weight Watchers. This can be applied to writing as well. We have to want it.
When everyone starts a ROW80 round, there is a lot of enthusiasm and goal setting. And everyone is sure that they’ll make their goals with no problems. But one thing I think some people forget…it’s a lot of hard work! If you’re new to the writing business, you may not realize just how much work goes into writing a novel or novella. That’s one of the reasons we should set goals. It’s not just something you play around with and dabble at. (Yes, I ended a sentence with a preposition.) We have to put ourselves into what we write, or it will be shallow and empty.
So, are you willing to work? There are going to be times when you’re really tired and you want to just forget about the writing for that day. There are going to be times when you’re really stressed out and you don’t feel like you can emotionally put yourself into the writing. There are going to be times when shiny new games lure you into a world where your writing doesn’t exist. Things are going to distract you from your best laid plans. But do you want this? How badly?
We aren’t perfect, and we’re going to slack off sometimes. But when it becomes a habit to NOT write instead of write, that’s when we start getting into trouble. Sometimes I want to lose weight so badly that I can’t wait to do it. But when I see and smell that pizza, it suddenly becomes more important than my weight loss efforts…for a short time. Then I regret all the pizza I put into my mouth. And I get really excited about exercising, but then when it comes time, it just doesn’t happen. When we start finding excuses not to write, then our priorities are getting mixed up and we’re losing our focus.
So how badly do you want it? How important is it to you that you see your work published? You can’t publish it if you don’t finish it. Are you willing to write when you’re tired? Are you willing to write first and play that fun game later? Are you willing to rein in the emotions that are making you crazy right now long enough to put down some words? Is it easy? Of course it’s not easy. Nothing that’s really important in life comes easily. It takes work, dedication, and perseverance. You’ve got to want this so badly that you’re willing to make sacrifices. I don’t mean neglecting the really important things in your life, but we are prone to finding all kinds of excuses not to write.
Think about the things you have accomplished in your life. Did you get a degree, raise children, work hard at your job, or play a sport? What are the strengths inside yourself that enabled you to do these things? Was it determination, good self-esteem, stubbornness? What made you accomplish the things you did? Whatever it was that kept you going with all the other important accomplishments in your life, those same things can help you along your writing journey. Reach down into yourself and find those strengths that you possess. Use those traits to aid you when you feel like you just can’t do it. You have those strengths!
So how badly do you want it? Can you taste the success? Can you envision your book on Amazon or Barnes and Noble? Can you feel the book in your hand if you decide to do a print version? How badly do you want it? Only you can answer that question. But for those of us doing ROW80, I think the answer is obvious…or we wouldn’t be doing this challenge in the first place. Keep working. The rewards are worth it!