February 15, 2013

The Write Love - Tracy Krauss

There is a saying that goes, "You will always find time for the things that are truly important to you."  I believe this wholeheartedly, and I've seen it play out in my own life.

Like most of you, I suffer from what I call the 'treadmill syndrome'. Sometimes it feels like I'm on a treadmill that just won't stop. I run and run and run some more and yet at the end of the day, it often feels like I didn't get anywhere. What with working full time as a high school teacher, volunteering in both my community and church, and trying to keep home and family in order, there is little time for much else.

Yet, somehow, I've managed to write fairly consistently for the past twenty five years or so. When I stop to consider how I make time for writing, I really only have one answer. I love it so much that it's really not a question of 'making time'. Somehow, because it is so important to me, I manage to do it, despite my busy schedule.

When a task is forced upon us, or when we do it out of obligation, much of the joy is lost. It becomes a 'have to' rather than a 'want to' activity. I experienced a great example of this recently. I teach Drama as a course, but I also facilitate an after school extra curricular program for teens. The 'KodiActs', as we call ourselves, (our sports teams are the Kodiaks) practice twice a week and put on two major productions a year. The club is totally voluntary on both my part and the part of the students and it is very time consuming, especially the two weeks leading up to a show. The kids who come are there because they want to be. They just love drama!

My administrator recently asked me what I thought of making the after school Drama program into a course for credit. Basically, I would get paid for all the time I put in - a definite advantage.

Then I thought about the down side... I have 30+ kids who join the 'KodiActs' each year because they love it. They want to be there and they are willing to make the commitment and sacrifice their time and energy to be part of the club. If the program suddenly became a course, I'm afraid it would open the doors to those that just want 'easy' credits. (Little do they know the hard work involved!) I'm afraid the commitment level would drop off and I would have less recourse to do anything about it. As it stands, students who join know that they have to give 100% or they won't be in the club long.

In the end it comes down to my original premise. If you love something you will make time for it, with or without outside incentives like money or credits. Sure those things are nice, but that can't be what motivates you. Passion for my students and a love of theatre keep me committed to the 'KodiActs' - not the offer of money. The same goes for my writing. Although I have had a small amount of success with my published books and plays, I am definitely not writing for the money or the fame.

Think about this before taking on another commitment. If you can't 'make time' for it then it's probably not that important to you in the first place. Learn to say 'no' guilt free and focus on the things you love instead. You might be just as busy, but the time spent will not feel like a sacrifice.

Visit my website: tracykrauss.com   OR
 check my blog 'Expression Express' - the creative process from a Christian perspective


  1. I agree wholeheartedly, Tracy! I often get asked how I can fit so much into a day, but most of the things I do are things I really enjoy so I automatically make time for them. Keep up the great work :)

  2. For me, it's been a journey of learning to listen to my own heart and do whatever it is for the love of it...

    And to quit committing to anything (however good) from guilt, obligation, sense of duty, shame... and whatever else people (and the enemy of our souls) use to manipulate others into doing what they want.

    Great post... thanks Tracy!

  3. Yes, it amazes me how we can easily get sucked in to doing thing s- even good things - by guilt or manipulation. It takes guts to say 'no' sometimes...

  4. If you can't make time for it, it probably isn't that important to you... That is so true! And a great way to determine what should and shouldn't be part of your life.

  5. In this case, it's best to go with that instinct that holds you back from something that sounds good.


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