How much do you want it?

This is a question writers have to ask themselves a lot. Are we willing to lock ourselves away from others in order to write? Can we give up our favorite TV shows to find time to put words to paper? How much do we want it and what are we willing to give up to get it?

At one time I followed the entire line-up of soap operas in a day. Started with All My Children, segued into One Life to Live, followed by General Hospital, wrapping up with Days of Our Lives. I knew the doings of Blair and Todd and Bo and Hope better than I knew the doings of my own family.

In 2004 I decided to get serious about my writing and gave up all daytime television. I haven’t looked back since. I’ve completed 4 manuscripts, several short stories, and I’m getting published by The Wild Rose Press this year. I would not have done any of those things watching TV all day.

Writing also got me out of the house. I joined RWA National and my local chapter, I have friends, I go to conferences, retreats, and events. I go to my writer friend’s book signings and get out and enjoy life. I meet a friend for coffee each week where we plot our stories and brainstorm new ideas. Things I have time for because no TV.

To some people it wouldn’t seem a hardship to give up the soaps, but those people were my friends, my window on the world, and good practice for storytelling. But like the voice says, “…like sands through the hourglass, these are the days of our lives.” I want to spend mine telling stories, writing books, seeing my name on a book cover, and living.

What do you want enough to give up something very important for? How much do you want something?

Jill James


8 thoughts on “How much do you want it?

  1. Obviously your sacrifice was worth it, Jill! Congrats!! I’ve given up sleep, reading (that hurts the most), TV, even friendships. Sometimes it hurts to give up things but excitement and accomplishment help ease the pain, for sure! 🙂

    • Virna, tough question, huh? How much is too much to give up? I guess I could give up sleep once in awhile, but long-term, I love my sleep. Friends? Only if they would not understand that my writing time was sacred. But on the plus side, look at all the writing friends we have accumulated!

  2. Jill I’m so proud of you for realizing what you needed to do to make your dream come true. I do hear and see a lot of writer’s who say they want to be a writer, but never finish a novel. Sometimes I just want to shake them and say “really? Then write!” Of course they want to watch TV or other things to distract them and this means they aren’t ready to be serious. You obviously made it work for you and I’m so excited to read your release!! This month we spent the month in Children’s Hospital with one of my kids and of course he had the TV on all day and trust me, you aren’t missing anything!! The soaps are still the same as they were years ago AND most of them have left the air!!

    • Tonya, so sorry about the whole hospital/son thing. So scary!!

      At a chapter meeting Karin Tabke talked about “Yes, but” When you say yes, but you are really saying no. Writers write. It is that simple and that complicated. True story: I had a chaptermate take in her two grandsons and could find no time to write. I asked, Do you go to the bathroom? Do you read for 10, 15 minutes in there to escape the boys for a little while? Take a notepad, write for 10, 15 minutes. It was like a lightbulb went off in her head. If you want to write you will find the time, make the time, just do it.

  3. This is a question I often ask myself. Now that we have a DVR, there is no long a excuse to for me not to write. T.V definately won’t give me what I want, only I could do that.

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