Since I wrote the last post, I couldn’t stop thinking about that common saying about ‘making time for your passions’ or ‘if you truly wanted to accomplish that thing, you’d make time’. That’s something that has echoed in my mind for the better part of my life. And it’s been spoken to me by countless people. I definitely think it’s true, to an extent. But it can also be damaging.
I’m definitely guilty of prioritizing my writing far below most everything else I wanted to accomplish, but whenever I think about what I want to do for the rest of my life, writing instantly comes to mind. I know that it’s what I want to do. My dream is to share stories with people. So when I hear “if you truly wanted to be a writer, you’d sacrifice all your free time to accomplish that”, it just makes me feel like a fraud, like I’ve been lying to everyone around me. It makes me feel like what people see of me is that I’m only pretending to be a writer so that others will think I’m interesting. And I find that I get that tossed in my face quite a lot, whenever I talk about wanting more time to accomplish my dreams of writing. And then I start believing it. Maybe I don’t want it bad enough. Maybe I am just a fraud. Maybe I should just give up.
And then I get mixed messages, because other people say that you should ‘take time for yourself’ because ‘a balanced life is healthy and more productive’. So which is it then? Do I spend every waking moment working tirelessly toward my dream to prove that it’s actually something I want? Or do I take time to play games, be with loved ones, walk in nature? Who’s right and who’s wrong?
Personally, I’ll never tell someone that they aren’t truly a creator if they aren’t devoting all their free time to accomplishing that. I’ll tell them that they need to do what works for them, but they absolutely need to do something. If you don’t take a step, you’ll never climb that mountain.
And for everyone out there who ever told me I wasn’t a real writer because I didn’t spend all my free time on it, to every article writer who detailed that real authors sacrifice absolutely everything to accomplish their dreams, thanks for nothing. You didn’t motivate me, you demoralized me.