I’d like to pick your brains about something. For a long time now I have struggled with making and sticking to a daily writing schedule. I was a university student for the past four years with a heavy science curriculum… and a writing minor, which gave me an excuse for creative writing, but not as much as I would have liked. On Monday I am embarking for Montana to lead a field crew conducting wolf research in Yellowstone. I couldn’t be happier about this; it’s a dream come true! Nonetheless, I’m afraid I’ll get so busy I won’t make enough time to write to satisfy my craving to do so. One of my biggest fears has always been that I’ll get to the end of my life with too many stories left untold, just because I didn’t have the courage to jump in and devote myself to my writing. As a part-time freelancer, I know I have to be realistic about my goals for productivity, but at the same time, I also know that there are plenty of single-mom writers and CEO writers and other really busy people who still manage to get their books and stories written and out into the world. So I have no excuse not to write. I could never give up my career in wildlife biology to be a full-time writer; I love it way too much. But writing is a calling of mine also, and I never want to set my creative self aside, either.
So I am trying to figure out how to balance my time. I am such a perfectionist that I often make writing goals that are too big/unrealistic, and when I don’t realize those goals, I get down on myself. This pattern creates a vicious cycle that sometimes keeps me from writing at all, before I even begin. I expect too much in too short of a time, and I get discouraged and fall into self-doubt… and this makes it hard for writing to be fun again.
So, how do you make time to write? And how do you overcome self-doubt and the nagging, paralyzing negative Nancy thoughts in your head? I’d love to hear your thoughts about this stuff. Any insights are much appreciated!