Giving Up

What are your priorities?

I’ve got about sixty-seven things that come to the top of my list. I’ve got spending time in the Bible, spending time with my family, making waffles, serving my congregation (especially since I’m a pastor!), reading, keeping on top of my weekly comics purchases, writing, professional growth, making sure the house doesn’t burn down, summoning an ancient alien entity to run a restaurant…

One of those might be fake.

When you’re young, you think you can do all of that. At least I did. I’ve learned, though, that it’s just not going to happen. Wednesday a friend recommended a book I should read. I believe him when he says I’d enjoy it. I just can’t read everything that everyone recommends, though. Not if I’m going to keep on top of my other priorities.

Some things are non-negotiable. Spending time with God and with my family can’t change.

Others change with the seasons. Serving my congregation as a pastor can take a lot of time or a lot more time.

One thing that often gets weekly attention is my comics stack. I’ll pick up anywhere from one to ten comics a week, depending what comes out on any given week. These are quick getaways for me that don’t suck up a lot of my time and often help me learn good and bad storytelling.

The last few weeks I haven’t touched that stack. I’m giving up comics reading for a season.

I have other priorities. Right now I’m trying to draft a novel. I need to keep moving with that. It means less time for comics.

You know what I’d love to watch? WandaVision. Seeing the headlines about the episodes makes me hungry to see those episodes. I haven’t watched one. See, my priority puts writing above watching that series, as much as I want to. I’m giving up a lot of tv right now.

Do you want to write? Do you want to be an author?

Check your priorities.

You may need to give up other things that are good. Sometimes it’s a matter of better management of what you have; other times, you simply have to say no. I’ve said no to WandaVision and comics for this season, at least until I’m done with this draft. For you, it might be saying no to gathering as regularly with friends, or getting off social media, or cutting back how much time you take for lunch.

Now, to be clear, that doesn’t mean that if you want to write, you’ll always find a way. There are seasons of life where it’s impossible to write. Maybe you have a young child. Maybe you’re going through a crisis. Sometimes these things happen. It’s okay.

For now, though, if you want to write, check your priorities and be honest with yourself. Maybe you do want to write, but not as much as you want to keep up with your favorite shows. Maybe you want to write, but serving your family in this season has a higher priority. When you’re honest with those priorities, it’ll help you figure out what you’re doing. It’ll help you figure out what to give up… at least for now.

As for me, I should go write another chapter!

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