Commitment

commitment1I was on vacation from the day job last week.  When I scheduled the week off, I intended to spend it writing, except for two appointments I had scheduled for my elderly mother.

Ah, the best laid plans…

By the time the week–my blessed week–finally arrived, it had somehow transformed into nothing more than a fun-fest of appointments.  I had two, sometimes three appointments a day, and they weren’t short ones, either.  I was having some medical testing done (don’t worry – everything seems to be fine), so on a few of the days I had to be at the hospital or outpatient center for hours at a time.  I still had to cart Mom around to where she needed to go.  I had to take the cat to the vet.  I even had to sit at the DMV to renew my license.  Not exactly the stress free time off I had planned!

Now, I did this to myself.  These were things I needed to do, so I scheduled them when I had the time to do them–during my vacation.  I’m the one who piled them all on top of each other, because I wanted to fit everything in.  But when I realized I wasn’t going to be home very much during the week, and that the writing time I had anticipated had basically been thrown out the window, I got pretty depressed.

My traditional response to a week like this is to come to a full stop and eat myself into a stupor whenever possible.  In other words, I try to escape.  But I knew that I didn’t want to do that this time.  And, most importantly, I knew it BEFORE it happened–not after it was all over (which is when I usually realize I don’t want to do what I have just done).

See, I feel like I’m starting to move forward with my over-arching goal:  to write.  To really be a writer.  And I knew if I let a week like this stop me, I would be setting myself back.  Maybe even unwinding some of the good steps I’ve taken.

 

So I knew I wanted to keep writing in spite of the obstacles.  I told myself that I was committed.  F*** them all, I was going to just keep moving forward, no matter what happened!  Darn it!

Fortunately, I was at a point in the manuscript where I was writing some new scenes, not trying to revise (which would have been harder to do on the road).  I bought a bigger purse so I could carry my little tablet computer and a stenopad with me wherever I went.  And I wrote.

I wrote when I was sitting in waiting rooms, when I was in between tests, when I was waiting at the vet because I’d actually caught the cat early and we were there an hour before his appointment.  I wrote when I was half-naked waiting for a machine to become available.  People looked at me strangely as they walked past, and I’m sure they wondered what  in the world I was doing.  But I kept writing.  Then, when I got home, I put whatever I’d done into the main document on my computer.

I have a budgeted amount of time I want to write each day.  I did not hit the budgeted time every day, but I hit it ALMOST every day.  I didn’t get done as much as I wanted to do, I didn’t get done as much as I’d planned to do, but I did get SOMETHING done.  And, even more exciting for me, it turned out that what I wrote was actually pretty good.  When I got home and put it into the manuscript, I didn’t need to do a lot of rewriting.

Plus, I didn’t even eat ice cream every day!

To be clear – I missed my deadline.  My book did not get to the editor, as I had wanted it to when I’d scheduled the week.  I didn’t even finish the draft I was working on.  But I can’t express to you what a huge revelation this last week was for me.  It was difficult, it wasn’t fun, but it showed me that I can do it, if I set my mind to it  If I’m committed, I can survive even a week like last week.  It might not always turn out so well – I’m sure I will stumble, fall, fail.  But if I do it once, I can do it again.

Honestly, I’m a little nervous about writing this post because I don’t want to come off as braggy or set myself up for a fall or ruin any good karma I might have possibly gained.  But I did want to share it because honey, trust me – if I can do it, anybody can.

Don’t let the obstacles stop you!  Don’t let them send you running for ice cream!  Keep going!

Mmmmmmm…..ice cream……

“Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative or creation, there is one elementary truth…that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves. too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would otherwise never have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in ones’s favor all manner of incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man would have believed would have come his way.

Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace, and power in it.”

― W.H. Murray

 

 

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Comments

  1. You are a force, Betsy! A force! Good for you!!!!

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