For writers, it's the small things that can make all the difference.


As I set off for my walk, following the winding, scenic path that traces the outline of the Auckland Harbour, I dodge other Sunday lunch-time walkers, joggers, children on scooters and tricycles, and the odd rollerblader. My shoulders start loosening up and I find my pace for today. I also ignore the raindrops that start to fall, because I'm determined to walk.

When it starts bucketing down from the sky, I simply wait it out under the nearest large tree along with a group of cyclists and man clutching a bunch of flowers.

A few minutes later, the downpour becomes a steady drip and I leave our shelter to continue my walk.

No excuses.

Later in the afternoon, I get ready to write. I’ve managed to clean out the Daddy Long Leg infested, disused entrance hall and furnish it out with a small, rickety, round table just big enough for my laptop and cup of tea. Prior to this, I had no private space for writing.

Feeling excited to try out my new writer’s cave and finally enjoy some privacy, I walk in with a head overflowing with ideas and immediately see the flaw in my brilliant plan.

The ex-entrance hall is the part of the house that receives the most afternoon sun, turning it into a steam-room in the cold, damp winter. A glaringly bright steam-room.

The only way I could possibly sit here during the afternoon to write is if I either put up an umbrella over my writing desk or wear my sunnies.

Not cool. How could I possibly concentrate on serious writing if I feel like a gangsta-from-the-hood wearing my dark shades indoors?

But I write every day. Whether it’s in the lounge, surrounded by children’s toys and noise, by the dining room table, where I can sometimes manage to carve out a laptop sized space between the pencils, crayons, water paints and endless sheets of paper or on my bed, propped up against numerous pillows.

By the time I sit down to type this, it’s early evening. I hastily concocted something that might pass as dinner (hopefully by this time the kids are too hungry to ask too many questions), cleared a corner of the dining room table, and finally sat down to write.

No excuses.

“It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. “

J. K. Rowling.

I’m reminded of all the opportunities I was given today to choose that which serves me, instead of short-changing myself. There was that small matter of deep fried or grilled fish for lunch, and the opportunity to sign up for a promising webinar instead of ignoring it. I chose to play café with Gabbi, first thing in the morning because I I’ve been avoiding it all week and I know how much it means to her.

I also chose to leave the dishes so that I could watch a bit of Chloe’s movie with her. This whole week, I’ve chosen to step away from my daily yoga class in favour of healing time.

We’re given the opportunity to take a step in our right direction with every decision we make. And we get to make countless decisions throughout the day.

How many small, but no less effective, life-changing opportunities do we miss because we’re always holding out, waiting for someone else to change or for a circumstance outside of ourselves to improve. We lose out because we’re waiting for the right time, for permission or for validation from a partner, friend, parent or boss.

We don't have to wait for one day. We can simply make our choices, one at a time, every single day, to correspond with whatever we’re trying to create.

And suddenly, whatever we’re trying to achieve, seems a lot more doable.

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