Unlikely Inspiration

Friday night, after the kids were in bed and the torrential rains had slowed (our backyard was a river for a while), Knute and I curled up on the couch together and flipped on the TV.

With summer coming (and Lost - the best damn tv show EVER - finished) , the pickings on TV are slim so we were happy to see that Friday Night Lights is back (yes, we are a bit football crazed here in our home) with a new season.

We didn't get to watch much of this week's episode; the local weatherman took over the broadcast, geeking out on all the radar imagery of the thunderstorms rolling through southwest Ohio.  But there was one moment that I caught, one moment that is sticking with me, tucked away in a back corner of  my brain.

One of the characters was in a bar with his father, trying to connect with him on some level about life as an artist.  After a bunch of b.s., the father finally looks at his son and tells him the one thing he needs to make it as an artist.


He went on to explain how you have to be selfish as an artist, how you have to say no to some parts of life, to people, to anything that would suck up your time and energy and leave you too drained to create.

I don't have it in me to be selfish to an extreme, to say no to those around me again and again and again.  But the fact is I do have to say no on some levels to certain things if I have any hope of creating boundaries, time, and space to write.

I need to say no to being so Type A about everything.

I need to say no to some of the distractions of social media.

I need to say no to trying to squeeze 30 hours of life into the 24 hours that God gives me every day.

All of this is so much easier said than done. 

But with summer (three kids, 17ish hours of daily sunlight, and all the whines of  "I'm bored!" I'm going to hear between June and September) coming, I know I need to try to be a little selfish of my time if writing is ever, ever, going to be a priority. 

The hardest part, though, isn't finding the time once school is out and summer is here.  Without the pounding beat of the school schedule defining and fragmenting my day, I'll have time to spare.

The real hardest part?

Finding the strength and courage to keep believing in myself.