I used to complain a great deal about how little time I had to write. Okay. I still complain about it. But I complain about it a lot less than I used to. Because years ago I had an epiphany, and I no longer act like my words are something I can’t control.
Here’s something I remember when I feel like I don’t have enough time to write: The thing is, I do write. I write a lot, each and every day. I write a journal entry every morning. I write a blog post every week. I write and respond to e-mails. I post in forums. I post and comment in professional groups. I engage with family, friends, and other writers on social media. I tap out words in group text message threads off and on, all day long.
These things are important to me, too. Connecting with other human beings is crucial, and for better or for worse, this is how we do it these days. Also, writing today is not as solitary a profession as it once was, and by networking with other writers, I’ve learned a great deal about my craft and the publishing industry. And I’ve been encouraged and uplifted. Those connections help me keep going. But how much of this is too much when I’m complaining I don’t have time to write?
How many words do I write every day? If I added up the words in every e-mail, every post, every tweet, every blog and journal entry, I think I’d have easily written the entire 200-plus-book The Babysitters Club series by now. It’s something to consider.
One of my favorite credos is from The Four Agreements, by don Miguel Ruiz, who writes that, among other things, we should be impeccable with our word. I’ve always taken that to mean to speak truthfully and kindly and fairly. Now, I’m wondering whether being impeccable with our word might also mean to value our words, to use them well, not to waste them.