Commitment is the Thing

The raising of kids. Self-improvement. An exercise regimen. The writer’s craft. Doesn’t matter what it is.

Commitment — making a fixed decision toward achievement and allowing no other option — is the #1 factor in whether or not we make good things happen. Or really, whether things happen at all.

I was floundering. After my participation in 2014’s National Novel Writing Challenge (that I didn’t “win” but during which I wrote a lot), I vacillated between whether I should continue down the path of novel writing, or try to focus more on freelance work and the contribution of my personal essays to various websites and publications.

Image courtesy of photoraidz at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Image courtesy of photoraidz at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

I have a desire and aptitude for both, my reasons for choosing one or the other varying. (Though balancing them together is not an option, not while working full-time and being an involved mom.) But because I was open to both, and couldn’t make a decision about which should be my priority, I was spinning my wheels and getting nowhere. Doing nothing, as far as writing goes.

So then I expressed the lack of direction to my writing group. Put my thoughts out on the table, so I could get feedback, and view it from all sides. Really take a good look and make an informed, progressive decision.

It was hitting on the realization together — thank you, V.K.! — that it all comes down to commitment that cleared things up for me. I had to choose something, plain and simple. And then I had to decide that I would be committed to that choice, even on the days I don’t want to be, or when it’s really, really hard.

That’s it. Truly.

It was a powerful epiphany for me, and so I committed. I picked that I will continue down the path of novel writing, which led to an instant rejuvenation for my current WIP. Decisions regarding the manuscript and the integrity of the story asserted themselves. My verve to actually sit down and write returned.

I’ve written 5,000 new words toward my novel in the last two weeks, and the progress feels awesome. It feels solid and justified.

But really, it’s the commitment. That feels awesome, too.

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About Janna

writer, editor, marketing assistant, resume consultant, mom, wannabe philosopher, advocate, and possibilitarian / you can call me Janna

Posted on March 4, 2015, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Committing to get your butt in the chair is the hardest part! You can do it, Janna!

  2. I needed to read this post today. My commitment is pretty much gone this week and it’s hard to bounce back. I know how well you write and I am thrilled to see you have accomplished so much!!

    • Janna Qualman

      Thank you so much, Terri!

      I’m glad this post delivered a reminder you needed to hear. ❤

  3. What you say is so true, Janna. Late last year, I lost the joy of writing and debated whether or not I wanted to continue. After much soul searching, I recommitted to finishing my WIP and I’m loving the process of writing again. 🙂

    • Janna Qualman

      I think we all lose our way at times. But I do believe that the writing is a calling that won’t leave us for long.

      I’m glad you’re back at it, too. Loving the craft and feeling successful at it is such a high!

  4. I’m right there with you, Janna. I committed to a non-fiction project that caused my romance writing to come to a screeching halt, but changing directions for a short time has really reenergized my love for fiction. Now if I can just get my butt in the chair. Good luck!

    • Janna Qualman

      You can do it! And from what I’ve read and heard from you, that non-fic project was totally worth it to you. 🙂

  5. Yay, Janna! I’m glad you’ve found your path. I decided today that I need to start putting my writing first, and complete that before I work on all the many tasks I could do instead. Because if I try to complete the tasks first, I’ll never get to the writing.

    • That’s a big part of it, isn’t it? Not letting other things take precedence. I still have trouble with that… Good luck to you, Andrea!

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