I would have a lot more time on my hands.
My To Do list would be a lot shorter.
Time management wouldn’t be such a bear.
But, I am a writer.
My dad is fond of saying, “You can have anything you want, you just can’t have everything you want.” This particular bit of wisdom annoys me, partly because it feels limiting, but mostly because it’s so damn true.
You can’t say “yes” to one thing without saying “no” to something else. All choices involve sacrifice.
Artists are known for sacrifice. Writers, painters, performers – all of them choose their art over other things – security, comfort, leisure, even relationships.
We make ourselves vulnerable by opening our hearts up to the world. We sacrifice the safe anonymity of the non-artistic life, choosing instead to willingly subject ourselves to judgment. We are willing to do without material goods, social acceptance, and the false security that comes with a more traditional lifestyle.
We commit more of our time to work than play. We are painfully aware that the hour spent vegging out in front of the TV could be much more wisely invested in our latest project. We get up earlier and stay up later in order to carve out time for our art. We sleep less, and even when we do sleep our dreams are filled with thoughts about our art.
We will even sacrifice relationships, walking away from people who don’t understand or aren’t willing to accommodate our need to create.
You can have anything you want, you just can’t have everything.
You are a writer, an artist. You make choices each day in favor of your art. You weigh the rest of your life against your work and make the hard decisions that keep your creative endeavors alive no matter how busy or distracted or bogged down your life gets. You fight for your writing life and your weapon is sacrifice.
Be proud. Your path is not easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is. Be a writer – an artist – and your life will be richer for the journey.
Jamie Lee Wallace is a writer who also happens to be a marketer. She helps her Suddenly Marketing clients discover their voice, connect with their audience, and find their marketing groove. She is also a mom, a prolific blogger, and a student of the equestrian arts, voice, and trapeze (not at the same time). Introduce yourself on facebook or twitter. She doesn’t bite … usually.