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Do or do not – My writer journey part six

January 11, 2018

I’ve been asked this question a lot in the past few weeks and it has kinda stuck with me…

Why write?

WHY? WHY? *cried out in the voice of the Orphanage Cook in Oliver*


So I actually thought about an answer. Because it wasn’t that I was being asked why write as in why DO I write, it was more that I was being asked why write when I have a full time job, why write when I am tired, why write when I am finally on holidays, why write when I could spend time with my loved ones, why write when it TAKES UP SO MUCH TIME.

My flippant answer is of course… why not?

But my serious answer is borne out of many similar such questions asked over the last year.

And it is this

I don’t want to regret NOT doing it.

All the time I get into conversations with friends who tell me that they are “in awe” of my commitment to doing something that I love and wishing they too were doing something that they love. Now this is a conversation that annoys me. Because if you want to do something, truly do something, why are you talking about it and not doing it?

Why? because it takes time, money, energy, takes you away from doing something else, you’re not any good at it…

Arghhhhhhhhhhhhh – or as Marge would say

My response to a lot of these people is “So what do you really wish you could do, what do you want to do?”

Answers typically vary from, “learn an instrument, sing, knit, sports (so some kind), act, write, dance” and so on. All are admirable goals…

My response then usually goes like this: “Then do it.”

That’s when I get all the “tired, money, time” complaints.

All talk, no action.

I am a writer. I have always wanted to be a writer, I will always write. But that takes time. I’m lucky. I know my dream. I’ve always known my dream – To be a writer. So I worked at it. I made time, I spent money (so so much money), I am ALWAYS tired.

I write because I don’t want to regret NOT writing. Not giving it a go, not trying.

I don’t want to end up in my elderly years looking back on my life thinking… I should have done that.

Should have, could have… didn’t.

I took singing lessons, I took piano lessons, I acted on stage, I sort of, kinda, did direct a group of actors in a rehearsal one time, I wrote a book, and another and another. I queried, I got rejected (over and over), I joined workshops and writer groups, and social media. I learnt to paint, knit, crochet, cook (okay my nana would tell you I didn’t try this one hard enough!) I learnt karate, script writing and movie making, I have even now started making voice recordings. I gave it a go. I learnt how bad I was and I kept at it, I kept learning, improving, growing. I’m still improving, growing, getting better and trying NEW things. Because, I give it a go and I stick with it. Yes, it’s hard, exhausting, emotionally shattering, expensive, time consuming, lonely…

But I can’t ever say I didn’t try.

Don’t get old with only regrets to warm you.

If you have a dream, if you want to do something, really want it… Do it. Learn a new skill, take a class or join a workshop or volunteer group. Learn it, try it, experience it, share it, make it your bitch and take control… ahem…


Don’t regret.

And don’t be “in awe” of someone else’s abilities… find and make your own. Shine, take off and fly and all that jazz. Don’t just talk about it and watch from afar. Find a way.


Others in the series

Part One

Part Two
Part Three

Part Four
Part Five

Part Seven

Part Eight

  1. Fabulous post, Laurie. I am an old man physically. In my mind, I am still growing. I too wanted to write but put it on the back burner in favor of career, kids, and success. I put it on full boil after I turned seventy. No regrets but I wish I had more time to learn to do it better and that to me is the moral of your advice. Why delay what you want to do because it is hard? No reason. Thanks for this. You got me enthused about writing book number six.

    • Yay terrific, John and oooooooo tell me more? A teaser perhaps? Whats it about?

      • It was about Ned Tranes the police chief of Port Aransas (John Cannon’s mentor) He is involved in a case where a lost phone becomes the centerpiece of a plot to over through the US government. The terrorists want the phone back and will eliminate anyone to get it. Ned gets in the way and is now centered in their sights.

      • ooooooooooo OMG that sounds fantastic! I’m just about to start book two of John’s story actually. Now I am looking forward to this one as well 🙂

      • Well, I hope you like book two.

      • Im sure I will!

  2. Sarah Ann permalink

    Yep, just get and do what you want to. Less of the excuses, because we’ll all be dead soon enough and then we can’t do anything. Great post Laurie.

  3. When I started writing, I didn’t think of it in terms of “I’m going to do MORE writing”. I thought of it in terms of “what am I going to do less of?” Time is the only non-recoverable resource. If you want to write, somethings got to give. Less TV, less iPad, less time playing video games, you need to pick out what you’re giving up.

    Writing is better than all of those, it was an easy decision. 🙂

    Great article, thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Michael. Yes I have to agree with you. What do you want more of? I love my tv shows but they do make way for my writing. So yes less watching cricket more editing! The TV and the computer are my key procrastination go tos! 🤣

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Short and Sweet: My writer journey part five | Rambles, writing and amusing musings
  2. Plotter or Panster? The joy of a fight scene. My writing journey part four | Rambles, writing and amusing musings
  3. First Draft: My writing journey part three | Rambles, writing and amusing musings
  4. Research: my writing journey part two | Rambles, writing and amusing musings
  5. Querying: my writing journey part one | Rambles, writing and amusing musings
  6. The importance of reading – My writer journey part seven | Rambles, writing and amusing musings
  7. My Writer Journey – part eight | Rambles, writing and amusing musings

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