I have always wanted to go to a gym and work out, but I could never find the time to do it. Just like writing, I want to do more but can’t seem to find the time.
I have always maintained there aren’t enough hours in the day for a full-time job, a family, friends, AND going to the gym. Most experts assert it is best to exercise first thing in the morning because the chances of getting in a workout later in the day are slim. After putting in a long day of work, the last thing most people want to do is head to the gym.
I was one of those people. By the end of the work day, I was too exhausted to think about anything except dinner and relaxing in front of the TV.
It doesn’t help that I’m not a morning person. I’m a night owl. I enjoy being up after everyone else in the house has gone to bed and the house is quiet. The problem with this is I would get out of bed the next day with just enough time to get to work. No time for exercise. No siree!
But a funny thing happened a few weeks ago. I discovered it’s not impossible for a self-proclaimed night owl to get up before sunrise and head to the gym. I’m now into week four and I’m proud to say I’m enjoying it. I even look forward to heading out while it’s still dark – and quiet. The best part is, I feel great!
Another benefit of working out is I have time to think. Time to come up with ideas to write about. Time to think creatively.
Time for epiphanies.
While on the treadmill one morning, it dawned on me that finding time to exercise was never the problem. The problem was getting over the fear.
I finally admitted to myself that I was afraid. I was afraid of looking like I didn’t know what I was doing (which I didn’t). I was afraid of falling off the treadmill (yes, I’m a klutz!) in front of other people. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to get up before dawn day after day. To put it simply, I was afraid of failing.
I’m past the fear now. I feel comfortable with my new exercise routine and I’m no longer afraid I can’t do it.
Now onto the next one. When do I find time to write?
I haven’t been doing enough writing lately. It seems there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. I’ve been reading about how other authors find time to fit writing into their busy schedules. Just like with exercising, it’s all about finding the right time to do it.
Or is it? (Here comes another epiphany.)
Could it be fear that is keeping me from writing? Just as it kept me from going to the gym?
No, it can’t be fear. I’ve already published two books and I’m almost done writing the third. How can it be fear?
The key word is almost. I’m ALMOST done with the third book. I’m at that stage where my writing needs some polishing and there are gaps in the story that need to be filled. This is the part that causes me the most grief. Sometimes, I just don’t know what is needed to complete the story and I worry I’ll never be able to figure it out.
I have the fear of getting it wrong. Fear of not choosing the right words to get my meaning across. Fear of my characters behaving inconsistently.
Fear of readers hating it.
But just as I didn’t let fear continue to get in the way of my workouts, I can’t let fear stand in the way of my writing. I have to write. It’s a big part of who I am. I realize the fear may never go away completely, but it should diminish over time. It should at least get easier to ignore.
I just need to keep in mind all the positives of writing, just as there are positives of exercising. There is a strong sense of accomplishment with both activities. Finishing my third book will lead to the thrill of having another book published. Another book I can call my own. One more thing I can say I have accomplished
I just need to get past the fear.