A young mother of two-year-old twins wanted to start a home-based business. She decided to put everything aside for a season, except for the responsibilities of caring for her young family. Having toddler twins, she'd already given up hobbies. What else could be cut from an already full schedule in order to give her business room to grow? She examined her daily and weekly schedule, then made changes to her lifestyle. She whittled down meal preparation to a minimum by rotating two weekly menus. Her husband didn't mind because she'd chosen some easy favorites. She completely stopped entertaining and didn't accept invitations. She literally didn't do anything more than take care of her family and concentrate on her career. In time, her children thrived and so did the business. Once she made a decent profit, she hired help. With a little more free time, she began finding balance and adding back into her life some of the things she'd given up, like entertaining.
For our large family, dining out was a rare luxury. My husband would eat cheaply on his business trips, then treat us to pizza with the money he'd saved. Today, with half the family working and attending college, I don't feed as many kiddos. So pizza has become standard fare for the younger boys. But I don't mind giving up preparing a home-cooked meal once a week. Not at all. That's one sacrifice I make gladly.
I don't enjoy cleaning my house but I really appreciate a neat environment. In the past, friends would look around my home and say, "Wow. You've got seven kids, yet it's so clean." I really liked the "wow." Prided myself on it, in fact. But think of all the books that might have been written, if I'd cleaned a little less, written a bit more. Well, no one says "wow" about the house today. And that's okay by me. I'm holding out for the potential some day to hear a "wow" about a book I've written.
Now, my youngest child attends preschool a few hours each day. Like nearly everyone in our fast-paced society, a long list of demands could easily fill those hours. But I refuse to use that premium writing time to de-clutter or organize my home. My motto of "work before play" meant I'd always cleaned house, then if I had time to spare, I'd write. Writing was merely a hobby I hoped would become my vocation. I must view writing as my work. So I need to take my job seriously and cut out the things--besides taking care of my family or my relationship with God--that prevent me from reaching my dream of publication.
No one reaches success in sports or business without great sacrifices of time, money, or even relationships. These decisions aren't made lightly. Yet, every day, we decide how dedicated we are about writing when we choose how to spend our time.
What hinders your writing? What changes can you to make? What are you willing sacrifice to make your dreams come true?
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