In my old care taking life I never had enough time. I always felt rushed, exhausted, pulled in several directions simultaneously. Self-care was the last priority on my list. This year I have been hyper aware of how I take care of myself and one of my procrastinated commitments to myself was to take time to write. No more excuses.
One piece of the writing commitment was journaling daily a practice that keeps me sane, on track, and vital to my emotional and spiritual health.
Another slice was to carve out time every day to write a scene for a screenplay I’ve been actively working on since 2010 but have been making notes and percolating for over five years. Five! That’s too long to play with a dream and not take definitive action. The final piece of the writing commitment was to get support. As in ‘it takes a village’. Writing is a solitary endeavor but even that’s interpretive, because for me gifted writing comes from a source I am connected to, it flows through me, and I don’t feel alone when I write. When I allow myself to go there I flourish—I wanted support to help me show up at the page consistently. Just do it. No excuses.
My dear friend and self-published author Kathy asked Jeff and I if we wanted to support each other with writing and so we said okay let’s see what happens. We meet once a month for dinner, conversation, hugs and laughter: WriteNite was born. We share a section of our writing and we read each other’s with the intention of answering these questions: does it engage me, is the story clear, are the characters someone I care about? We don’t critique or edit unless the other person wants that feedback. We also report daily in a FaceBook group when we’ve written that day and how it went.
We have asked each other to stretch ourselves. I was only showing up to the page when I was happy and having a good day. My fellow WriteNiters challenged me to show up anyway and give myself permission to write poorly or even badly. Just write. I did. I even enjoyed it, as there was no pressure. And some of those scenes ended up being perfectly useable! Jeff needed our support to stop editing and just write and stay in the flow of creation. Kathy needed our support to write a few bold romance scenes and by golly she nailed it!
We’ve met for four months and my screenplay is now 138 pages. One day at a time, one scene at a time, one sentence at a time, one word at a time. This is how a dream is actualized. I call myself a writer because I write. The point is not how good the writing is or if it is marketable—but that I WROTE. I get that now. It’s taken me years to arrive here where I can see it’s not about the end result it’s about the process, the journey. Those blissful magical moments when I am one with the Universe or Source: that is why I write.
Even on the days when I don’t feel like writing, or I have client work to do, or I’m too tired, my WriteNiters help me show up at the page. Period. Do it write now. I am. This screenplay is my thank you for believing in me my fellow WriteNiters!