When you picture a writer at work, what comes to mind? A quiet little cabin in the woods? A serene cafe where all of the most creative types toil quietly and respectfully over their own masterpieces?
One afternoon last year, I was frantically chopping vegetables and throwing them in pan for dinner. I had spent all morning working hard on Arms Open Wide and the time had come to race the clock against the rest of my life. Soon my children would begin arriving home from school to usher in an afternoon full of soccer practices, martial arts, homework and school functions.
So, dinner needed to be prepared in a narrow little window between my job as an author and my duties as a mother. Sometimes, when I am really tired, I will turn on the t.v. while I cook to distract myself from just how little energy I have for the huge mountain of work before me. On this particular day, an episode of Million Dollar Listing was droning on in the background while I rushed to get the food finished before the school bus pulled up in front of my home.
I was only partially listening to the episode until one of the stars of the show, real estate superstar Josh Flagg, decided rather flippantly to write a book. This, of course, meant he had to “get away”. Josh promptly checked into a posh Beverly Hills hotel where he proceeded to tuck himself into a comfy bathrobe and alternately stare at the cursor blinking on his screen and softly beat his forehead against the wall.
All the while, I was thinking- “Get away? Get away from what? He is a millionaire bachelor who prefers to live in a luxury high-rise in Beverly Hills than a house because ‘it is more like a hotel.'”
I had a little bit of irrational anger at Josh that day.
Sometime later, I heard Kanye West goes to Paris to write.
I have occasionally “gotten away to write”. It has never been a posh hotel in Beverly Hills or Paris. My accommodations have been…simpler. Most of my writing however, has been slipped into the crevices of an otherwise already full life. Today, I am writing and studying from the lobby of the YMCA while my children swim on the other side of the glass. There is a swim meet going on outside and there are kids everywhere. Some are screaming. Others are laughing. A few are crying. Some, who don’t even belong to me, have been sitting almost right on top of me. A mom, laden down with towels and coolers, just wiped out in a puddle of water a few feet away. There are day camp kids tramping by. Thank heavens for the person who invented ear buds!
But…I am still, somehow, doing the thing I love in the middle of it all.
What is stopping you today from reaching for your dream? Don’t wait for the circumstances to be ideal because for most of us, that just doesn’t happen. Don’t wait for days on end of uninterrupted time. Steal precious moments! Stop delaying until you are “ready”. We just grow into some things along the way.
Most of us will never get to check into a fancy Beverly Hills hotel or hop a private jet to Paris and you know what? Our dream is probably better off for it, because the sweetest dreams are born not out of privilege but out of heart crushing adversity.