Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sacrifices

The Sacrifices We Make

We all have dreams. In order to achieve those dreams we must work hard, and that hard work requires time and dedication. That time sometimes comes at a price though.

Like a lot of things in life, you have to give up something in order to get something in return. The same goes for writing, or any long-term commitment/goal. We have to make personal sacrifices to devote ourselves to our dreams. 

I give up social time, gym time, me time. I give up making calls and texting with family and friends. I give up family/relationship time. I pull from these times and pour myself into writing. I've sacrificed bonding with my kids, connecting with friends, and communicating with my spouse. Has it gone badly at times? Yes. Has it been hard on my kids? Sometimes. I have loads of mommy guilt about this. Has it strained my relationship with my husband? At times. But has it worked out overall? I think so. How can I tell? Because I can answer this question: Is. It. Worth. It?

Is    INSERT YOUR DREAM HERE    worth the sacrifices you make? 

For me, my dream is to become a published author and my answer is a resounding yes. The reasons behind that "yes" will be different for everyone but, for me, writing fills a space inside me that nothing else has ever filled. Writing lets me feel alive in a way that doesn't make sense to anyone else but another writer. Writing has let me surrender myself to something bigger. So much of publishing is out of my hands, I'm learning to let go of what I can't control. My husband has said he's jealous of how I've found something I'm so passionate about. My kids see me pushing myself in order to attain my goals, to achieve me dream. The sacrifices I'm making with my family, though tough, are setting an example for those I love the most. They get to see exactly what it takes to make things happen. You have to give, push, and work. No shortcuts. No giving up. At least, I hope that's what they see from me.

What's your dream? What are your sacrifices? Is. It. Worth. It?

    

5 comments:

  1. I love what you said here, "Writing lets me feel alive in a way that doesn't make sense to anyone else but another writer." That's so applicable I'm going to tweet it.

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  2. Have you ever asked if it is worth it as far as your spouse and children are concerned? You may, or may not, find that they have a different answer to that same question. Perhaps your guilt is not 100% inaccurate.
    My wife is a writer too, and I applaud her in her endeavor, but lets not kid ourselves -- it is tough when you life companion becomes just the person in the bed asleep at night and not much else.
    I would never step on her dream, its important to her, so its important to me -- but it definitely marginalizes our relationship when writing is constantly gets priority only second to her full-time job.

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  3. I think you are being a great parent by showing your kids that no one is going to hand their dreams to them. That hard work is needed. You're being a fabulous example for them, and I commend you for having the guts and determination to make it happen. Too many kids just 'want to be famous' without putting work in, or even knowing what they WANT to do. You are an inspiration for them.

    I agree, sometimes - most of the time - my social life suffers. But my guilt is always disproportionate to my friends and family's resentment. I always think they resent it, when really they are happy for me, and encourage my pursuits.

    You never know who is watching. Who you are inspiring.

    But you are doing it.

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  4. Tonya, Love this post. One of the many cool things about connecting with other writers, either via Twitter or Conferences or Critique Groups, you begin to understand that we really are all in the same boat. Nobody gets a free ride. There is no writing fairy that says, hey you get to write and be published and you don't have to support a family or raise your children or pay your bills. Nope. All writers, at some point had to 'fit' their writing in around their lives or 'fit' their lives in around their writing. Just the way it is. The people who get published work really, really hard (and probably never string 'really' together twice in a row). If you are somehow able to work full time, raise your children, keep the house perfectly clean, and not feel stretched to write your novel...then something is wrong. You are either a singular talent sent from outer space...or more than likely, the work...the real hard work of getting something 'good enough' is not happening. Thanks for the reminder.

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