It’s approx three weeks until LDSBA and I have way too much on my plate. So thank you, Rebecca, for being today’s guest blogger.
I’ve always loved to write, but life has had a way of getting in the way.
I wrote poems and short books as a youth, but placed writing on the back burner while I attended, and graduated from, BYU, married, and began having a multitude of children. During this time I took piano lessons, learned to knit and crochet, redecorated my house(s), studied how to raise horses, and chased my kids from one end of the day to the other.
One day, I told my husband that I’d like to get back into writing. He encouraged me to pursue it, but, once again, I let life get in the way. I figured that when I stopped having kids, I’d have time to write. Or, when the laundry mountain wasn’t as big as Mt. Everest. Or, when I could cook and freeze several meals so I could get ahead of the cooking. Or, when the dishes grew legs and walked themselves to the sink. Or, when life slowed down. Or . . . .
Then, my epiphany. Life would never slow down and I would never stop having kids (okay, maybe that will happen someday). If I truly wanted to write, I needed to stop making excuses why I couldn’t write and just do it. I needed to focus on the one thing, besides my family and the Church, that was most important to me.
I stopped taking piano lessons, put away my yarn and needles, suspended the redecorations (my husband was quite thankful for this resolve), gave the foal to my daughter for her to train, and tried to stop chasing my kids all day long (well, that hasn’t happened, yet).
I focused the little time I had on writing. I read books, took classes, attended conferences, joined email groups, asked thousands of questions, and surfed every writing-related website I could find. Oh, and I wrote. I wrote and wrote and wrote. I have notebooks filled, and many half-filled, with things I wrote—I kept misplacing the notebook I was using and had to keep finding other ones. (Important safety tip: keep your notebooks in obvious places and/or ban your children from ever using any of your notebooks as an artist pad).
I still had babies. I even homeschooled my other children for a time. I served as Primary President. I attended my children’s activities and cooked and cleaned and regularly climbed Mt. Everest, but I made time to write because it became a priority. With my newfound focus, I managed to publish a children’s picture book (Grasshopper Pie, Windriver, 2003) and sell stories to online and print magazines, including the Friend.
No, I didn’t learn to be Wonder Woman (though I’d love to look like her in that costume and have her lasso of truth); I learned to focus on writing. I learned to make writing my priority over knitting, playing the piano, and repainting my house. I learned I couldn’t do everything well, but, maybe if I put all of my effort into that one thing I enjoyed the most, I might be able to learn how to do it well enough to share it with others.
We’re all busy. We all have demanding lives. Writing should never become more important than our spouses, families, or fulfilling our duties in the Church, but, if we truly want to write, we can find the time to just do it.