Decisively, A Writer

“But the cure for most obstacles is, Be decisive.” – George Weinberg

Life has a tendency to step on its own toes. Our interests and pass-times are more diverse and numerous than ever in human history. Our own worst enemy is sometimes our success.

Once upon a time, if you were a writer, you probably didn’t have many other hobbies or interests outside of reading and writing. Now, there is the Internet, our phones, the Internet on our phones. Any interest worth having is accessible by simply getting in a car and driving to it.

There are times when I think we, as artists, were better off when we had nothing to do other than work on our craft. There are some amazing things available in the modern era. Writers can research nearly any topic without leaving their desks. It has never been easier for writers to network with one another, nor to get their work out there for people to see. Submissions are made instantaneously through email and responses come just the same.

There are just so many things getting in the way of writing, and the problem is that I love all of them.

I am a single father with half-time custody of my son. I won’t write while he is at my house and awake. Unless he is at school or asleep, I am not getting any writing done. That means that during creative periods, I am limited to early morning, late night, and lunch breaks.

I work a demanding day job with odd hours. That cuts into my writing. Some days, I give work all I have to give and lack the ambition to accomplish much else.

I have other relationships: a girlfriend, family, friends…all of those take time. I was an art major in college and always feel guilty for not keeping my visual art skills sharp. I played the drums in a jazz band in college. My drum set sits in my basement, gathering dust, begging to be played. I used to play the guitar that is now gathering dust next to the drum set. I have a martial arts school I pay a lot of money to attend. Don’t even get me started on television and video games.

How do I find time for all of these things? I don’t. I set goals as a writer and strive to accomplish them. I make writing my number one “hobby” priority. Even that level of commitment can be difficult.

The only way to make sure I keep writing is to sit down every week and write this blog, then sit down and write for This Average Life, and then write for myself, and for all of you whom are my potential readers.

The obstacles will always be there, and occasionally, I falter. Ultimately, the keyboard always calls me back. There is something simmering in my brain that needs to come out, and as long as it finds a way to leak from my fingers, I will be here.

I am a writer. It is not a role I take lightly. Every day I sit down to write is reaffirmation of that decision to be a writer.

Jack Campbell, Jr. is a dark fiction writer in Lawrence, KS. His writing has appeared in various venues including Twenty 3 Magazine, Danse Macabre, and Insomnia Press. He writes about reading, writing, and life on his blog at www.jackcampbelljr.com.

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