Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Musings on the Writing Life

Everyone is telling me that I'm at a unique stage in my life.  Some people say its the most exciting, many people say its the most stressful, others say that its a period of change.  All are correct in their own way.  Preparing for a wedding IS a big deal.  It is stressful, there is a lot to do, and a lot of things are changing.  I'm adjusting alright, I suppose.  Its hard to tell until after its over.

I have to admit that my writing has gone to the bottom of the priority list.  Between church, family (which has now expanded to include my fiance's family), church, wedding planning, and friends, I have had little time to work on my own writing.

Much of my creative writing education in college stressed, whether explicitly or implicitly, that in order to be a good writer, you have to make your writing the #1 priority in your life.  I'd have to say that right now, its a #10 priority, if that.  I have a ton of other things that I value more than getting my novel done.  Is that wrong?  For some people, it is.  They would say that my writing will be sacrificed, that in order to excel, I need to be drowning in writing.  Reading, editing, writing, workshopping, etc.  I need to be able to put my job aside, my friends aside, and concentrate on my writing.

I admit that many prestigious authors have lived this way of life and they have reaped the benefits.  But who is there to rejoice with them when they succeed?  If we put our family and friends second to our writing, in the end, who is going to be there to help us when we fall or cheer us on when we're nearing the finish line?  To me, there is no replacement for family.  And in my opinion, a self-centered act of writing (not selfish, just self-centered) should not be more important than the ones you love.

Perhaps I will never be successful in my writing.  Perhaps I will never be a great author remembered throughout time for intelligent, well-written stories.  I'm okay with that.  Some people aren't.  The balance is difficult, but I can see no other way to live my life.