11 November 2008


I just realized it's been almost a week since my last post. Mea culpa! I've been assisting with a MAJOR project at work, one that has me going into the office early all this week. (Except today. Thank goodness for federal holidays.)

While it's required a hellish amount of prep work, this project has also been highly satisfying; I have a real sense of accomplishment when I come home. Which makes me realize know what's coming...wait for it...I get more satisfaction out of my day job than I get out of writing.

But I wonder if that must necessarily be A Bad Thing.

These days I find energy to write only on the weekends. And even then, other things clamor for my attention - chores, errands, and books on my TBR shelf. Lately, I must confess, I would rather curl up and read someone else's words rather than struggle to forge my own.

What's wrong with me?

I've asked myself this question several times during the past few weeks. No story seems capable of holding my interest past 10-20 pages. No one idea is so compelling that I must drop everything to focus on it. I bounce back and forth between concepts like a caffeine-crazed Capuchin monkey, unable to settle down.

Do I want to focus my energies on my job? It has the promise of becoming a very rewarding career for me; it ceased to be "just a job" quite a while ago. Add to this the fact that I simply cannot make a living from writing; I cannot put that kind of pressure on myself and deliver good results. But if I choose to concentrate on my career, what happens to my writing? Do I *have* to choose between the two? If push comes to shove, does the writing get relegated back to "occasional hobby" status, and am I OK with that?

My gut response says I am. I'm not sure whether to be relieved or disappointed. I mean, I have the ability, but not the desire. There are a lot of writers out there with plenty of desire, but not the ability; I've read lots of complete and total wallbangers lately. Is it better to have the talent and not use it, or have no talent and do it anyway? And why do I feel that I must write full time to have any sort of identity as a writer?

I guess it all boils down to these questions: What do I really want to do? Where does the heart of my desire lay? And can I find an identity as both a writer and a career-minded individual?

And at the moment, I truly have no answer.


The journey continues.


Nan said...

The best advice in the whole world- allow yourself to take a break. Allow yourself to be a "resting writer." Have fun building your new career. For goodness sakes- do what makes you happy. You are using your talents- maybe in ways you didn't think about before, but you are using them. Rest.
Perhaps one day a story will catch you and you will be back into the madness that is writing. But if that doesn't happen-it's not a failure or quitting. It's simply the natural progression of your life. Just because you can write-and write beautifully, doesn't mean you have to be miserable.
Real growth means doing what makes you happy- not what you think you're "supposed" to do.
That said- it has been my privilege to read your stories. Thank you.

(The above message was written in a pain pill induced haze and may turn out to be entirely rubbish. ;))