The Hard Part

Reading this insightful and terrifyingly real blog post from Shanna Germain got me to thinking about my own excuses, and why I haven’t gotten further than I have with my writing.

I used to think writing was glamorous.  I was enamored with the words between the lovely hard covers, intrigued by the authors whose names were on the front and spine.  It must be nice, I thought, to have nothing more to do than sit at a grand, wooden desk with a gorgeous window view and pound out word after beautiful word.

I wanted to do that . I wanted to be that.

How old was I then? Ten? Eleven?

I knew that I wanted to be a writer.  Nothing else.  I never had a backup plan like becoming a nurse or a teacher, it was always the writing.

I got older, of course, and actually started writing, for my school and local paper, and barely past twenty-one I started writing erotica.  Of course, I was juggling two, sometimes three jobs that had nothing to do with writing, but I was still writing my little stories and I was even being published.

The busier life became for me, writing full-time seemed less and less an attainable dream, but I was satisfied with the small thrill of seeing my name in print, of having the validation that people wanted to read what I wrote.  But that still wasn’t motivation enough for me to do what it took to make writing full-time a real possibility.  And I knew what it took.

I had to write more, much more.  I had to branch out.  There was always an excuse I could pull out of my hat at will: Work, then marriage and family and it became easier to make the excuses not to write than to actually sit down and do it.

It was/is ironic.  Writing brings my heart joy.  I love everything about it, even the sound the keys make when I’m sitting there typing 3,000 words of complete and utter crap.  Still, I sometimes avoid it because it doesn’t always give me the end result I’m looking for, like say, a publication, or even a story that I can work into something submittable (yes, I deem it a word).

As I’m venturing out now, getting into editing and trying to put out more fiction/erotica so that doing this on a full-time basis really could be a possibility, if and when I want it to be, I’m learning that no one is going to force me to do it, and no one is going to do it for me.  The story certainly isn’t going to write itself.  I can talk, wish and dream about it all day long, but if I don’t do what it takes to make it happen, then what’s it all for?

There’s nothing glamorous about sitting at my kitchen table at one in the morning trying to make a deadline when I have to be up at five to give my kid her daily meds.  There’s nothing glamorous about the waiting game, the time between calls and publications.  But…it’s not supposed to be.  It is what it is.  It’s what I love.  It’s what I do, if and when I have the will and courage to just…do it.

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