One day about 20 years ago, when I was a newspaper reporter in my early 20s, I was inspired to write my first novel.
Every night, after chasing ambulances as a crime reporter covering murders and fires, I would sit down with my laptop on the back patio with a cup of coffee and write my heart out until I couldn’t see my keyboard through the darkness any longer.
I did this for a while and made significant progress … 10K words … 20K words … 45K words.
Then life hit as it always does and I got distracted from my novel.
Eventually, I took a better journalism job in a new town and started working on bigger stories that took up more of my emotional bandwidth. I dated. I socialized. And worked hard to fit in in my new town — the same town I still live in now, by the way.
All the while my novel, safe on a light blue floppy disk, with a theme around domestic violence, collected dust in a box that moved with me to each new apartment.
I got engaged. Married. Started a new job mentoring teen mothers. Struggled with infertility. Got pregnant — with TWINS. Quit working full-time and started freelancing.
The novel moved with me through each transition.
And then when I found my groove and we moved into the home of our dreams, I found myself longing to return to my novel.
I was back to working full-time. My girls were 3 years old.
And I wanted it.
I wanted to finish that novel.
So I quit TV. I gave up a lot of other things and I sat down every night after the girls went to bed and I wrote. I transferred the novel into a Word document and started writing fiction again.
I wrote nearly nightly until it was done. I’ll never forget how good it felt to finish.
It wasn’t easy. The girls still got sick and had nights when they were up or wouldn’t go to bed easily. I had work events that disrupted my schedule. And I had off days when my creativity just wouldn’t flow at 8 p.m.
I had less time than ever in my entire life — and yet I finished it.
I sometimes joke that I am really not sure what I did with all my time before I became a mother but I can tell you this: Motherhood makes us want things MORE.
This want and desire comes at us because we know we can’t take time for granted because it’s so elusive. When we get time to work on our dreams or passions, we appreciate it.
Writing that novel brought me JOY. It brought me back to myself a bit more even though I wasn’t the same person at all anymore.
But the act of wanting it and then making it happen was empowering.
If I can do that, I can do anything, I thought. This was 2009.
If you are frustrated by not having the time to work on a dream or creative project, just remember …
You have to want it.
What do you want?
P.S. I’m hosting a FREE Mid-Year Reflection workshop on July 25 at 1 p.m. EST to help you tackle YOUR goals. We all have them. We start the year with such great hopes. And then … life happens. It’s time to get back on track. Join me! I promise lots of insight, clarity and laughter.
P.P.S. ON THE BLOG THIS WEEK, I’m going to offer a week-long series on 5 Ways to Make Space for Yourself in 5 Days. The first post will be published tomorrow! I’m so inspired to WRITE more … I want it so I’m going to make it happen. 🙂