I stopped and started several times, bowed to the responsibilities of work and family again and again. Now that I have moved from white belt to blue belt, I feel a stronger obligation to attend class regularly. The past three weeks have been excuse-busting tests of dedication and logistical skills. With the exception of being sick, I have made every class I set out to attend. Training three days a week will not make me the top grappler in my rank, but should give me the skills to proudly say "I am a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu blue belt."
What does this have to do with writing? This web site is named Scottmoonwriter, after all.
I always believed that living a responsible, adventurous, and productive life helps any writer. At the same time, the competition is fierce, especially for indie writers. There are days I wish I could do nothing but write, read, and work on my craft.
That way lies madness, like as not. After family and God, there are only a few things that matter to me. Like most writers, I often test the patience of my family and give my faith less work that it deserves. I'm only human. Maybe God didn't put me on this Earth just to write, maybe he did. My fiction is meant to entertain. I don't write to push a social, political, or religious message, in case you were wondering.
When I write, when the story is growing naturally, I feel complete. I don't worry about the through-line or the moral premise or the plot structure. Each time those issues push to the forefront, the process seems more like work--and I do it because I strive not just to express my creativity, but for professionalism.
When I am on the mat, sparring or learning a new technique, there is no opportunity to worry about getting the oil changed in the car or paying bills. There are days when I get submitted time after time and wonder why I put myself through the ego crushing abuse. Just like writing or anything else, there are moments when the work put in seems crazily out of proportion to the reward gained.
Over time, progress is realized.
That is a reward. The journey is a reward. At least I am not sitting around.
Earning a rank in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a lot like publishing a novel. Certain expectations come with the accomplishment. I am about to have a birthday, and each year I set goals. So here is my resolution. I will write when it is time to write, train when it is time to train, and never take the people I care about for granted. Without them, it is all meaningless.