If You Don't Do It, No One Else Will
This post is more for me than for anyone else. But here it is anyway.
I am very good at procrastinating. I'll put things off until the last minute until finally, I realize that I absolutely have to do whatever it is or there will be consequences. Usually, this has to do with getting out of bed when I have an early day or finally starting a paper for a class that's due in the next 24 hours.
But there are other things that I procrastinate because there really aren't major consequences. These are things that I see as more optional things: going to the gym, writing a book, editing a book, etc. Things that I thoroughly enjoy, but things that sometimes I feel like I'm too tired or busy to set aside time to do.
A good example of this is the second book in my Three's Company trilogy, Restricted. I was going strong on editing it and getting the book ready for publication. But, as you'll notice...it isn't published. I spent three months ignoring the book when it was about thirty pages of edits away from being ready to publish. I just picked it up a few days ago for the first time in three months and remembered why I was working so hard on the book in the first place. I love that trilogy, and I love how far the book has come since it was first published on Wattpad. So now I'm back to editing it in full force. But those were three months away from it. Three months where I could have been working hard and three months where the book could have been published already.
I think it's important to recognize that these 'optional' things we make excuses to not participate in or devote our time to are still important things. They're the things that other people can't do for you. No one else is going to write my exact book, about my exact characters, with their exact backstories and anecdotes. They can't, in all honesty, because a lot of their anecdotes are pulled from my own life. I have to write this book if I want it to get written.
No one is going to go to the gym for me. No one is going to go to the gym regularly with the purpose of increasing my strength. I have to do that. No one is going to practice the violin for me to improve. I have to do that. All of these little things that make me happy are seen as optional in the back of my mind, while I try my hardest to make them seem like more of a priority. These aren't the things that make me a ton of money or help me graduate from college or help me succeed in my internship. But that doesn't mean that they're not important.
I think that it's important to make sure you're doing things in your life even if they're not mandatory to your finances or your career or your education. It's good to have productive hobbies and side hustles and things that make you feel like more of a person than just someone who goes to work and comes home and goes to sleep and repeats the next day. I think it's important to not procrastinate these things. Because when you do, you risk being like me with that book: skipping it for months at a time until you almost forget about it altogether. These things are important because you're the only one who's going to do them. You're the only one who's going to draw that gorgeous picture, who's going to write that novel, who's going to be able to squat 200 pounds with your legs.
It's up to you. So make the things you enjoy a priority in your life. Because if you don't do it, no one else will.