This post is sparked by an episode of Jeff Goins’ The Portfolio Life on why writers should write every day. It’s compelling and encouraging, and I heartily recommend Jeff’s podcasts for those of you who are trying to pursue writing more seriously. If you’re not into podcasts you can read one of his articles on daily writing.
I find writing daily to be one of the hardest things to do. I have a real problem with perfectionism and have to double, triple, and quadruple check everything I write. I take a long time to get a story, blog post, or even a text message just right. This post took about two interrupted hours to complete, and I wasn’t even going for perfection.
And while I believe that writing daily helps get you through a lot of that garbage faster, especially for new writers, it’s incredibly difficult to do for those who take their religious and family duties seriously while balancing a full time job.
One reason it’s so hard for me is not because there isn’t enough time; there’s plenty of time if you make it the most important thing in your life. There are countless successful authors and bloggers you could look to who make writing their most important endeavor. And I’ve been there, made writing more important than God and family. On the positive side, the results are definitely an increase in quality content. But the flip side for me is a weak relationship with God, grumpiness, and an exasperated wife and son left longing for more of my attention.
At the end of the day, and more importantly, at the end of your life, what do you want to be known as? A great writer with thousands of fans, mediocre family relationships, and maybe some unspoken, deep seated resentments? Or would you rather be a good spouse and parent, while maybe only a decent writer? What’s more important if you aren’t in a position to have it both ways?
Think about that for a moment. I work in a lot of nursing homes and often see dying people. If I were them, would I be thinking, “Gee, I sure am glad I put my writing first and my family last. By the way, I haven’t seen them in a few weeks. I wonder where they are?”
Nope. I’d be thinking, “Boy did I screw this life up.” For me, God and family have to come first. It’s in my conscience because God put it there when he caused me to be born again. I am compelled to seek him first! [Disclaimer: I still struggle with this]
And yet I have a deep yearning to blog and to create vast quantities of quality fiction, but it’s got to be done in the right order. Lately I find myself remembering what James had to say to people who wanted to rush into their plans. Instead of just making plans and going for it, we should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:15, ESV)
Bottom line, if the Lord wills I will be blogging more in the coming months. Earlier in the summer I drafted a schedule for reading and writing which will allow me to alternate between fiction and Christian living. Life’s been busy and writing has come last. I have to remember it’s just a season. And if I never get around to publishing blog posts daily, continuing my Essential Meditations book series, or finishing a body of publishable fiction, then as a follower of Jesus I can say that it is still well with my soul.
Do you write (and publish) daily? What struggles do you have as a blogger, fiction writer, or faith writer? Or maybe you have some tips that have helped out. Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear your thoughts.
photo credit Wikimedia Commons