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How much do you want it? (Being busy and writing anyway)

April 9, 2013

It’s the second half of the school year, which means you get to read me whining about my schedule. Little League is in gear, which means two-to-three games a week and practices. Not to mention work and working out–which I’m doing precious little of these days because of my yearly springtime leg injury (grumble, grumble). Then there’s the bathroom I’ve taken apart and I’m working on putting back together, an agonizingly slow process.

It leaves precious little time, ambition, and intellectual gasoline for writing.

And that means, it’s cliche…err, gut-check time.

This is an area where I’m inclined to give myself a break. After all, when you go from six-thirty in the morning to ten o’clock tonight, you need to be reasonable. And moments like last night–when my son had pitch counts of 11, 9, and 11 over three innings, which is really good–these moments bring a kind of joy you can’t buy.

And the bathroom really isn’t fixing itself.

Which leads to the obvious question–how bad do I want it?

It’s not about what’s reasonable. It’s not about giving myself a break. It’s about what I’m willing to do–within ethical bounds, of course–to achieve my goals.

In this, I’ve learned from my daughter. From sixth grade on, she worked harder than I ever worked in college, and I worked pretty hard. She gave up some activities and a lot of sleep to be successful. Now she’s enjoying the fruits of her labor by attending the university of her choice and having a shot at the career she really, really wants. It was common for her to stay up past midnight and get up before six. Because she wanted what was at the end of the work.

So I ask, why do I even consider reasonable? Why do I consider tired? Why do I consider being too empty to write?

Suddenly, how bad do you want it isn’t a cliche.

It’s a reasonable question.

It’s a rallying cry.

How bad do you want it?

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4 Comments
  1. Chris Hamilton permalink
    April 9, 2013 6:19 am

    I wrote this a couple weeks ago. I would add that today I don’t want it that badly. I had an after-work commitment last night, Little League tonight and Thursday, and I mountain of other undone stuff waiting for me tomorrow night. It’s okay to not want it right now. By the weekend, things will sort out a little bit and the pace will slow down slightly. Maybe. But I will get some writing in before the end of the week.

  2. April 9, 2013 12:34 pm

    What you’ve written here is the crux of my frustration. That question should be painted on my wall, so when all the other life things start piling up, I have a reminder to sit me down.

  3. April 9, 2013 6:32 pm

    We learn about our future through the experiences of our children. Your daughter is an inspiration and so are you, for that matter! Remember, balance. Balance your work, your children’s sporting activities, household duties so that they are all getting the proper amount of attention. You may recall the ole’ Franklin Planning System whereby you assign priority to the tasks you have set out to do. The “A” priorities are first. The bathroom … well that might be a “C” priority …can wait. If I know you, Chris, you want the writing just as much as I do. So it gets top priority, of equal importance to your family, even. Because if you neglect whats near and dear to you you’ll resent not giving it the attention it deserves later. And, God, does writing need attention!

  4. Chris Hamilton permalink
    April 9, 2013 10:05 pm

    As the man said, sometimes you do what you can, instead of what you ought.

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