Pushing Myself to Write a Book

5325613416_0964491115Photo Credit: Honey Pie! via Compfight cc

You say you want to write a book. You say this, and yet, you let days slip past without writing anything but emails or tweets or status updates. Those are never going to turn into a book.

You say you want to write a book. And yet, the days keep passing, the weeks and months that put more and more distance between you and your experiences of mental illness. They are beginning to feel more and more like harrowing nightmares that you’ve woken up from all sweaty and breathing fast.

But they weren’t nightmares. They were real life. And you better get these experiences down, out of the corners of your memory where you buried them for safekeeping, or else they may fade away completely.

Just write it already.

I’ve got a new Ed Sheeran album to inspire me. Plus, binders full of tips and tricks I was fortunate enough to acquire from a dear online friend who I’ll be meeting a year from next month.

But then summer schedules get in the way. My body moves like it’s stuck in quicksand. Each morning the early sunrise finds me digging myself out after staying up too late because after a 7:30pm yoga class is the only time I have peace and quiet to write and surf the internet. Walking into a quiet house at 9pm, grateful the kids are asleep, the dishes await me. The laundry needs to be folded. Trash taken out because it’s full to the top.

Still, I’m grateful my husband at least watched the kids and put them to bed so I could have my time.

Seventy-five minutes of pure blissful stretching, sweat rolling down my legs and arms as I melt into the poses which center me. Class leaves me tired, yet energized. These past three weeks of practicing yoga twice a week have begun to chisel my body and mind. Next items to tackle are prioritizing my schedule and sticking to it.

When there’s camp in the morning with only an hour and a half before early pick-up so that he doesn’t have to miss swimming and then dance class in the afternoon for her, the moments for writing are consumed by responding to emails and texts. And phone calls from my love in the middle of the day or on his way home, just checking in to see if I need anything.

I wish it didn’t take me an hour to get warmed up when I finally sit down at my desk and the clock reads 10pm. Discipline and focus are what I lack. I know this, and yet still have to click around for awhile, loosening up my typing fingers. It’s something I want to work on this procrastination issue I have. Wouldn’t be a writer if I didn’t struggle with this monkey on my back.

Baby steps. Other women writers with families have written memoirs. I’ll get there. I have a feeling my memories will protect themselves inside my head until I’m ready to resurrect them in the order that makes the most sense for this book that is sleeping in my heart. One step at a time.


  1. I really loved the last few lines of this post – they are So beautifully written. Of course I relate to this entire post. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that it will take me a long time to accomplish my dream of completing my book “Birth of a new brain – healing from postpartum bipolar disorder” to my satisfaction. I honestly think that If the passion is there, one’s dream will come true, and I have the passion. The discipline, as you noted so well, is the hard part. Despite the challenges of having families, I know that we can both do this!!!

  2. Thanks for this very relatable post Jenn. I too have started a book. One that calls to me endlessly. I think it’s the fear of actually finishing it that keeps me constantly choosing any other task but writing it. Subconsciously it scares me to think about the day that I finish it and then it will need to be shared – to be out out there for the world to cut up and critique. There is still a fire in my belly for it though. So I continue to poke away at it, little by little. That’s all we can do. And then one day it will be done and I’ll have nothing left to do but to share it :)

    • Thanks so much for reading, Sarah. I know what you mean. I have similar emotions that scare me about my story. But in my heart I know I want to tell it. And I know that it’ll help other women. We’ll get there. :)

  3. Thank you as always for your heart felt post. I too have a book “sleeping in my heart” where I know God continues to nurture it with grace and love until it is ready in his perfect timing. I know he will do the same with you.

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