I know people say writing is a commitment, but it’s more than that. Writing isn’t “like” a relationship, it IS a relationship. A writer must be involved with the whole process of writing, must love it, need it, want to continue to work to make it better. It takes commitment, time, dedication, and the desire to move forward in life with writing.
A few years ago, I was at a conference where the main speaker (don’t remember his name) said, “You have to be selfish. You must take the time for yourself, for your writing.” He went on to say he spent every Friday at a hotel with his writing. (are you picturing him checking into a seedy, no-tell motel with an old typewriter?;-)
My friend joked, “Noreen does this thing where she actually spends time writing.” My regular action became fodder for humor because he is a writer, but he falls under the category of non-writing writers like many others.
Life happens. We have families, pets, jobs, homes, tons of responsibilities. But notice that list – I put family first. People we love comes first. This is why a writer might consider writing as a relationship – so they give it priority.
I schedule things around my writing whenever possible. I will make doctor appointments, meetings, and everything I have power to plan secondary to my writing by scheduling them before or after my planned writing time.
Once a person considers themselves in a relationship with their writing, they may naturally form relationship goals! If writing were a romantic relationship, how would you handle it differently? Would you want to go to sleep with it or wake up with it or both? What would you want to give it? Would you spend more time with it, going over the details, working it out so it was just perfect, going over it and over it again to work it out nice and smooth? What do you do for your significant other? Take it out to dinner? On vacation?
Writing, like a lover, needs constant attention and nourishment. Placing it on the back burner means we may never get to it. It’ll be there, but not as warm and flush as we’d like. Being in a relationship with writing means the needs of both are fulfilled. Writing is fresh and flowing and continually improved and the writer is happier, more productive.
We do this because we love it, we are driven to do it. Treat writing like it’s important to you.
Think of writing before you fall asleep, when you wake up in the middle of the night just to say one more thing.