So you may have noticed that those site changes I mentioned last month never materialized. Yeah… about that…
I’ve been seeing a lot of writing advice lately about perseverance, and it got me thinking.
So I said to my husband yesterday, “I don’t think I am going to be a writer anymore.” He met this declaration with deep concern and sadness. I’ve been writing with the intention of someday making a go at the publication thing for almost a decade. I have a book that is done and polished and probably good enough to find a home somewhere. I have several other ideas that are partially written and/or ready to roll. And I am just… done.
I took a long, hard look at where I am in my life today. I’m going to school to finish my BSN this year, and I’m already looking into grad school. I have a thirteen year old son who occasionally remembers I exist long enough to want to spend time with me. I have a husband who is also super-busy with his career and education who I like to talk to sometimes. I have four cats and three dogs and house that seems to be ever on the verge of becoming a steaming heap. I volunteer with two committees at work and three organizations outside of it. The truth is, I just don’t have time to be a writer.
My first thought was, what can I cut to make room for being a writer?Â
My second thought was, why should I?
The truth is, I love writing. I love crafting stories and exploring characters and new worlds. I do not love the notion of shopping novels. I do not love the idea of building a social platform or marketing or blah blah blah… the other work of being a writer these days. Sending out queries is a tacit agreement, imo, to treat writing as a career, and I already have a career.
When I was a kid, books saved me. Growing up in an environment where ignorance was praised and intelligence laughed at, books taught me how to think, how to respect myself, how to honor my strengths and forgive my weaknesses. I’ve always had this romantic idea that someday I’d publish a novel and someone who read my work would have the kind of experiences I had as a kid, that my fiction would help somebody. Thing is, I’m a nurse. I help people every time I step into my unit at the hospital. Maybe it’s not as romantic, but it’s real and it’s important and I love doing it. I’m not in a place in my life right now where I have the time and energy to devote to a second career, and writing would be that for me.
So I’m not going to be a writer. I’m not going to query my novel right now. I’m not going to keep reading writers blogs and writing advice. I’m probably not going to be hanging around the writer’s chats much anymore, either. Instead, I’ll be doing homework and spending time with my guys and training puppies and petting cats and working as a nurse and… reading! (God I miss reading)… and watching TV and cleaning the kitchen and sewing and most importantly not feeling guilty about any of it because I am failing to persevere and dropping the ball on my second career.
As to the site, it’s staying right where it is for now, and I may or may not pick up my posting.
Hugs! I came to a similar conclusion a while back. The query game – and the insanity in the whole publishing business – sucked away all my desire to get published.
Best of luck and joy to you in all your endeavors!
Do what you gots to do, lady. You have a lot on your plate. Go read, enjoy your boys, *\o/* You’re awesome. You really are.
and don’t feel ‘guilty’. Perhaps learn to write for fun again, someday. In the meantime, any hints on canning? 😀
Well, so far I’ve learned that lentils completely disintegrate when canned at 15psi, but they still taste good. I also did some research on the difference between a pressure canner (enormous and won’t generally work on a ceramic top stove) and a pressure cooker (saucepan style). The USDA doesn’t recommend canning in the latter because they haven’t specifically tested the products, but the studies I found indicated that they would still be safe, but wouldn’t need as much process time to complete a full-kill of the bacteria. I used the smaller version and just kept the process times the same, which will cook the food more, but at least I know it’s safe and most of the things I plan to cook don’t really care about length of cooking (soups, blueberry compote, and cranberry relish). Also, remind kids not to touch, because the stuff in the jars continues to boil for a good hour (which is pretty cool to see) and the jars need to be undisturbed for 12-24.