What we sacrifice varies. But so does how much. I've learned that just because we're writers, doesn't mean we're all aiming for the same thing.
Think about athletes, specifically runners. Some are content to run for personal enjoyment and to stay physically fit. Others train for the local 5K run. Some are working more vigorously for a Marathon. And then there are those who are headed for the Olympics.
All of the runners have different goals. But they should share one commonality: a training program. None of the runners can reap the full benefits of their goals (even if only to stay physically fit) without rigorous, consistent, self-disciplined training. We've all exercised and know that when we don't stick to it, we often give up too easily.
So how does this relate to writing? Not all of us are writing for the same reasons. Some are journaling and blogging for personal enjoyment. Others are writing short stories, non-fiction articles, or poetry for publication (the 5K ). Some are content to work on books and platforms geared toward a smaller publishing houses (Marathon). And then many are seeking the big one--traditional publication (Olympics). My analogy isn't perfect. In fact, I think the Marathon and Olympic goals may often overlap.
The point is that every writer needs a consistent training plan, the same as a runner. However, we need to decide what we're striving after first, because that will determine how much we need to sacrifice. An Olympic runner has to work more vigorously and sacrifice more time than a 5K runner. In much the same way, an Olympic bound writer has to have a tougher training plan, set aside longer hours, and give up many other things to write.
So, what kind of writer are you? Are you writing for personal enjoyment, the 5K, a Marathon, or the big time Olympics? Does your training plan reflect where you're headed? If not, what can you do to put in place the kind of consistent training plan that will help you succeed?