Salmonella Dub – For the Love Of It (not the version I was thinking of, but it will do)
Why do you write?
When I published my post the other day, somewhat jokingly bemoaning my as yet undiscoveredness, I did get a couple of reminders that we should be writing because we love it, not in order to get famous or (heaven forbid) rich.
Well, I just want to take a moment to be honest…
I love writing. I mean, I love it. When I write (particularly handwriting), what I write sticks in my head better than reading, hearing, saying, or any other way of learning. I am, I guess, a rote-learner, in that respect. I write myself notes not so much so that I have a note to remind me of things, but so that I will just remember because I went through the action of writing it down.
Since rediscovering creative writing, I have learned another aspect of my love: that of telling a story. I admit to struggling with it at the moment, but I have known the pleasure and pain of having a story living inside you that you must. get. out. HEALER’S TOUCH was like that. Even though the story morphed greatly over time. You see, I made a decision that it would be a story worth sharing. So even though I had a certain tale to tell, I wasn’t scared of making sure it did have a proper beginning, middle and end… And I learned about inciting incidents and such… because I wanted the story not just to be my story. I wanted it to be the best story it could be.
When I originally started writing, it was purely for my own benefit, for my own purposes, for my own eyes and mind. But for some reason, I decided to test the waters by posting it online… and I found readers. The seeds of publication were sown.
Now, this is where I get to my point.
I found myself living writing. If I got to work early, I would take a few minutes to write. Morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea… if I could get a moment alone, I wrote. Making dinner? Well, those pots can simmer without my input. I stood by the stove, notebook on bench, pen in hand… and I wrote.
That was fine. I was still working. I was still making my husband’s lunches and dinners, keeping the house tidy enough (by my standards…), and even partying.
Then the baby came along.
That was OK, too. In the early days, he did little but feed and sleep. They tell us new mums to “sleep when s/he sleeps”… I did… sometimes… But a lot of the times I wrote.
Then he started to get older and I bemoaned the loss of writing times as he started to drop sleeps. And he started to need more of my input, which is great – I love my son, I love making him giggle and seeing him learn. But I love writing, too.
But if I dared moan, people (friends and family) looked at me strangely and even went so far as to suggest I should give up writing.
Give. Up. Writing.
Now, those of you who write know that this is not an option.
One does not simply Give. Up. Writing.
It’s in our blood.
We give up writing and we die inside.
That’s how it is for me.
And so, I sought to be published. Luckily, it went pretty smoothly for me. And I’m really glad I went with a small publisher (Kristell Ink), because my book is already out there. I didn’t have to wait the 2 or so years it would have taken a traditional outlet.
And do you know what happened?
I had my official, local book launch about a month after my book released. This gave people time to read it first.
On the night, one of my friends handed me a bottle of wine and said sorry for not taking me seriously until she’d read and loved my book.
It took my mother another month or so to read it.
Suddenly, no one grumbles about the time I spend writing anymore. I have gained a certain freedom to write. Writing has become easier… when I get a moment without the toddler. And guess what… I get more of those, too. A friend takes him for one hour a week because she wants me to finish book 2. My retired father has just today offered to take my son for an additional couple of hours a week.
Now, before people get all huffy at me over that; I do love my son. And I love being with him. But, until people started to respect my writing, I had no support. My husband works long hours. My mum works. My dad keeps himself busy. My sister lives in town but is too unwell to look after my son. My friends mostly work. My in-laws live in the other island. I can’t afford to put my son in childcare unless I am working at the time (he does 15 hours kindy a week, through which I work a very unrewarding job) – and even then, we’re struggling.
The only problem I see with being published is that now I must write my next book faster, and not disappoint my readers by letting the quality slip (in fact I plan to make it BETTER). But my writing time per day is more limited than ever. I may only have a few “fans” (you are real people… I just can’t get used to the term in regards to me… don’t be offended by the “”, please), but I plan to deliver for them.
Do you know what that means?
It means I will not apologise for seeking to make a living at what I love. It means I will not apologise for seeking help with my childcare.
I won’t apologise.
I love writing. And for that reason, I seek to keep writing.
What about you?
Unpublished authors: Do you have the support and understanding you need?
Published authors: Did it change things? Make it easier? Harder?
- The Prodigal Muse (christinalay.wordpress.com)
- Battling the Blank Page (collegeadvice101.wordpress.com)
- The only thing that the word “never” should apply to is giving up 😉 (leewoodham.wordpress.com)
- Getting back to my first love (sophistirachet.wordpress.com)