Wednesday, May 25, 2011

To write or not to write, that is the question

Okay, so, I don't know if y'all noticed, but all of the entries but one were from Boise for the new books. Hmm, I guess that means I'll have to see if I have a book that you guys might want.

emfawcett - gets to pick YA or Middle Grade

Everyone else on the list- you guys live around here, so come to my house and choose which book you want. Seriously. I have some new books you can take a look at.

As for the rest of you- are you ready for summer? I am. So ready.

We've been getting these half committed days that act like a combination of winter and spring. Choose one already! Of course, by that I mean choose summer.

Considering the weather nationally though, I'm not going to complain.

But this does bring me to the topic of commitment.

What does it mean to be committed to writing?

For me it means a few things.
First, to write in spite of everything. This one is the hardest. To write in spite of everything means that no matter how many times I get a rejection letter or watch my books NOT sell, I keep writing. In the face of failure, I write. When I'm sure I'm probably a washed up wanna be, I write. When I've convinced myself that I never really had a gift with words, just a lucky moment here and there, I write. When I don't believe a single encouraging word I've said to someone else, or that someone has said to me, I write. When I've finally decided I should just give the whole thing up... I'm still shaking my head... I write.
In spite of the fact that there is not one shred of proof that all the hours I spend on this craft will ever end in success, I write.

Second, to write because of everything. I know this sounds like a close cousin to the first reason, but it feels different to me. Given all the discouragement listed above, I can not keep the stories from following me around. I can't help but notice the rare perfect moments when the world feels right. It's impossible to ignore the fact that maybe all I need is to keep writing because one of these days I might get it right. Life creates moments that beg to be used in a story.

And what if I didn't write? Would the stories in my head slowly sink into the ground and leave me alone? Would I feel as though my life was profoundly more fulfilling having escaped the flood of rejections that writing necessarily causes?
I ask myself these questions all the time. The problem is I am pretty sure giving up wouldn't end in happiness.

It seems the only way to be happy is to be miserable. Or maybe one has to go through the misery to get to the moments of sheer joy.

Whatever it is, I haven't successfully talked myself into quitting, and I've been trying really hard to lately. I want to be happy. There has to be a way to strike a balance between the heartbreaks of never reaching goals and the satisfaction of knowing that persistence will win in the end.


Nate and Robin said...

I think the question for you should be, "Do I write because I think I should and others want me too, OR do I write because I want to, because I like to, because I love the creative and unfolding of a story?" Don't write for anyone else. You should write for you! I know that you love to do it. That you enjoy it. Do it because it completes you. If it gets published and sold, so much the better, but don't write Just for that purpose. It will only make you unhappy. Stick with happiness dear. I'll always read them if you let me. :)

LouMac said...

Nate and Robin said it all. All I can say is: "Amen!"

Write because you want to write, not because it's expected or everyone tells you to.

I played basketball my freshman year of high school because everyone told me I would be good at it; that because I was tall, it'd be perfect for me. Well it wasn't. The continued running and conditioning made me sick everyday.

I never got enough sleep and the girls on the team treated me like scum. I put myself through a lot and everyone told me to come back again my sophomore year. I went to tryouts, made the team, and then realized that it wasn't for me, so I quit. It's been one of my better decisions in life.

Don't put yourself through something you don't need to. If you don't love something, you're not going to put the same time and effort into it as you normally would. And you'll be miserable. Do something you love and make YOURSELF happy. (It's one way you can actually be selfish in life and get away with it! :D)

LouMac said...

Oh! And I almost forgot, we as your readers support whatever decision you make. Just know, we'll always be members of your personal fan club. We love you no matter what you do!

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