(Author’s note: I use ‘writer’ as my example here, but it can easily be swapped out for any creative profession)
Determination is the most important tool you will ever need as a writer. It’s possibly the only important asset you’ll need that you cannot learn. No one can teach you to be determined, but yet, without it, you’re up shit creek without a paddle, so to speak.
In your career as a writer, you will have many obstacles to overcome, both internal and external: Writer’s Block, procrastination, doing the dishes, feeding your cat, etc. Sometimes, it seems for every reason to write, there’s a hundred reasons not to. When you write anyway: that’s determination.
When my friends ask me “What are you working on these days?” my answer usually leads them to another question: “Where the hell do you find the time?” and therein lies the big secret: “The Time”, that elusive commodity which we all need but cannot seem to find enough of, is actually readily available to you, if you’re willing to look for it.
Every Friday night you spend at a bar is a night you could be writing, if you really wanted to. That string of shows you PVR’d this week that you must catch up on Saturday afternoon? Taking time away from your writing.
I know what you’re thinking: “I work all week, I should be allowed to relax!” and you’re right. You’re absolutely allowed to relax. No one is saying you can’t. I am saying, however, that relaxing is not productive, and if you ever hope to make a legit career out of your passion, you will have to be productive.
This goes back to sacrifice: if you really want to accomplish something, you will find the time to do it. Of course, if you’re not determined to get it done, then sacrifice goes right out the window, doesn’t it? And this is how you determine whether you’re actually determined to see a project through.
Of course, I’m not saying don’t go out or enjoy yourself from time to time, but if you’re hopping in front of the TV or hitting a bar every time you have a free minute, instead of spending a few hours on your passion, then maybe you should re-evaluate just how serious you are about pursuing it as a career.