Time always seems to work against us, doesn’t it?
Never enough hours in the day, are there? Work, family, school, life–how to carve through all of that and find time for writing?
I didn’t appreciate or know my own capabilities until last year in February of 2013 when I’d made a pivotal and life changing decision to compete in the Ontario Physique Association as a bikini model.
Now I know what you’re thinking, what the hell does strutting around on stage in a two piece and heels have to do with writing?
Well, I’ll tell you.
Making the decision to start something so…consuming (of time, energy…of YOU), is easy. Executing it, is another. You have to commit to the task in ways you’ve never had to before if you want to succeed. My life had to change and drastically, starting with my priorities. My routine became all about time management and discipline.
Every day I was working out. Every single day. And not just for an hour, but two and sometimes three, broken into one hour segments divided into morning, afternoon and evening. All while holding a full time job and raising a family.
Impossible, you say? Well I made it possible. Even if it meant waking up at four am, sacrificing my lunch hour to run HIIT cardio drills on the terrace of my work building and dragging myself back to the gym within the last hour of closing after making dinner and tucking my daughter into bed for eight-thirty every night.
Adhering to a strict no dairy, no sugar and limited diet that for a long time mainly consisted of egg whites, chicken, tilapia, leafy greens and the occasional (and revered) tablespoon of natural peanut butter while everyone around me gorged on everything I couldn’t have. Attending birthday parties where my friends indulged in red velvet and I popped open meal three of six of whatever I had prepared for that day.
Learning how to rise above the throng of people who turned against me because they disagreed with my choices, decisions and actions. Many thought I was a derelict parent because surely my daughter and husband must have been suffering neglect if I was putting in so much time in the gym. Or that I was an awful wife for choosing to lift weights instead of a mop and bucket.
Everyone and their grandmother had an opinion about my foray into fitness and some of it was hostile, cruel and malicious. Friends, even some family, turned against me. And always the ones you’d least expect.
I didn’t let that stop me or derail me. I went on to compete in three separate shows in the span of seven months. And I walked off that final stage as a CBBF bikini competitor who qualified to move on to nationals (IFBB pro league) if I so wished. And I would have, if I hadn’t soon thereafter become pregnant with my now 7 week old son.
All of that in less than one year. Despite all of my responsibilities at home, work, in life and fitness, I continued to write. And completed not only just one book, but began drafting several more.
I made it possible.
Writing is no different to fitness. You have to believe in yourself when no one else does, when all the nay-sayers who are miserable and unmotivated see you forging ahead with your goals on the horizon. They see you as a mirror against which all of their short-coming, failures and lack of vision is reflected upon, and suddenly their excuses as to ‘why not’ are suddenly rendered moot.
Because here you are, doing it. And they don’t like that one bit.
You have to tune out all of that negativity and focus, even when your mind doesn’t want to cooperate, even if your body is telling you that you’re tired and you want to do a million other things but the one that is needed to bring you that single step closer to the finish line.
You have to make the time. Not find it. Make it.
By cutting out a half hour at your lunch. Or waking an hour earlier (before the family) and taking advantage of the calm and quiet. Recording that show you really want to watch and saving it for another day so you can squeeze in that hour before bed.
Treat your writing like an imperative, not a choice. Otherwise time will stretch on between every chapter, every line and word until you lose sight of what it was you’d set out to do in the first place.
And that story just waiting within you, yearning to be told, will fall silent.
So you see, impossible is only impossible if you choose to let it be.