Don’t put off until tomorrow – Sandie Jones

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By Sandie Jones

They say there’s a book in everyone and I believe that to be true, so how come so few of us put it to the test? I’ve not yet met anyone who doesn’t love the idea of a writer’s life; the chance to put all our thoughts and demons down on paper, and lest not forget the perceived notion that we can sit around in our pyjamas all day, waiting for that light-bulb moment of inspiration to strike. ♥

I’ve been a writer all my life, from the English essays that I lost myself in as a child, to the hand-written letters I still like to occasionally send. I even managed to ‘write’ for a living, if journalism can be classed as such. But although that book was always in my head, I never for a second believed that I would ever actually do it.

I had plenty of excuses; I didn’t have the time, the children were too young, bills had to be paid, and so on. I’d even managed to convince myself that once my family were grown-up, I’d rent a beach hut, where I’d finally be able to write my novel on an old typewriter, whilst watching a storm brewing out at sea. That would be my time.

If you haven’t already guessed, I am a terrible procrastinator, like many people, and I’m always happy to put off today what I could do tomorrow. My diet always starts next Monday and I’ll definitely get fit, but only from the Wednesday after next. I seemed to spend my life building up to the things I was putting off doing, only to find, that once I just got on and did it, I actually rather enjoyed it. The thought is always so much worse than the reality!

And so I found myself on a very ordinary, rainy day last January, writing a few lines on an idea that had been brewing for a little while. I hadn’t built up to it. I hadn’t gone to bed the night before, frantically thinking that ‘tomorrow I’m going to start writing a book.’ In fact, I don’t even remember thinking that was what I was going to do when I woke up. If I had, I would surely have put it off until the day after!

I just got on and did it. And 500 words turned into 5,000, and 5,000 turned into 50,000. In May, no-one was more surprised than me (including my husband and children, who had no idea what I was up to) that I had a 100,000 word novel that I was really quite chuffed with. It didn’t matter if it ever got published – I just felt an overwhelming sense of achievement that I’d finally done it, and a weird relief that I could no longer bemoan other people for having done it when I hadn’t.

Don’t put off until tomorrow what you could be doing today – how will you ever know if you don’t try?

Sandie Jones is a freelance journalist and has contributed to The Sunday Times, Daily Mail, Woman’s Weekly and Hello magazine, amongst others. She lives in London with her husband and three children. Her debut novel, The Other Woman, is out now.


1 Comment

  1. Donna Hepburn

    April 23, 2018 at 8:07 pm

    Fantastic post, and almost exactly the same story as mine; procrastination is the biggest enemy of authors lol x

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