As Joaquin Phoenix once said, “I’M STILL HERE.” Mockumentary and hip-hop career to follow shortly. (Seriously, though, I’ve realized I turn out new episodes about every 10 days instead of strictly weekly. I hope that is okay with you.) Either way, welcome to Episode 009 of the “Write Now” podcast.
Small note: If my voice sounds weird in this episode, it is because I have both a new microphone and a head cold. Life is fun like that.
In order to say “yes” to writing, you have to say “no” to other stuff.
When we were little, our teachers told us, “You can be anything!” But my ambitious little brain interpreted that to mean, “You can be everything!”
Which is simply not true.
Because despite our best efforts, there are only 24 hours in a day.
And we can only fill those 24 hours with 24 hours worth of activity, from sleeping to going to work, cooking, driving the kids to clarinet lessons, reading, grocery shopping, tuning up your bicycle, rewatching all 144 episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, washing behind your ears, going to church meetings, and yes, writing.
So if you’re going to say “yes” to writing… well, sometimes that means saying “no” to other stuff. Fun stuff. Important stuff. Stuff society deems essential. And that can be hard.
You are enough.
When we start to examine our limits, we begin to feel… well. Kinda crappy. Kinda small. Kinda worthless.
We realize we can’t do everything we want to do. We realize we have limits, that we’ll never be smart enough or fast enough or strong enough to do it all.
But while you can’t do everything, you can do anything.
You have the power to choose how you spend your time. You have all the permission you need to call yourself a writer. You are a whole person, however broken you might feel, and I want to reassure you that whatever that “anything” is that you want to do? You are enough to do it.
So the question becomes — what are you willing to sacrifice for your art? What can you do within the limits you’ve been given?
The book of the week.
When I was instructed to read The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst for a women’s group that I belong to, I’m kind of embarrassed to admit I rolled my eyes. I don’t usually read a lot of self-help books, and the cover of this one was just so… Pinterest-y.
But as I read through this book (which has a Christian bent to it, if that turns you on or off to it), I realized — I needed help. I was overstressed, overbooked, overwhelmed, and racked by guilt. In short, things were LESS THAN OPTIMAL.
I’m not going to say this book fixed me or changed my life, but it did help me to see more clearly all of the self-destructive things I do to myself when I say “yes” to too many things out of a people-pleasing mindset, and it reminded me that it’s OK to prioritize my commitments and (kindly, graciously) say “no” to requests.
Keep up-to-date with my reading exploits on Goodreads.
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Submit a question.
GUYS I have a question this week! It’s from a smart, wonderful person who wished to remain anonymous. And, coincidentally, it’s about work/life/reading/writing balance.
Submit a question when you visit my contact page and type out your thoughts. You can also email me at hello [at] sarahwerner [dot] com. I can’t wait to hear from you.
Listen to the full podcast.
You can listen to the full podcast episode using the controls at the beginning of this post.
I am also now on Stitcher! So if that’s your thing, check out the “Write Now” podcast there.
Tell me your thoughts.
What are you willing to sacrifice for your art? What are you able to do within the limits you’ve been given? Let me know in the comments below, or send a quick email to hello [at] sarahwerner [dot] com.
You say “social”, I’ll say “media”.
What’s your pleasure?
(Am I forgetting any?)