I have shared enough of your journey's to know I am not alone in this. It's usual to feel defeated sometimes. It is a tough business after all isn't it? I know that now, and you probably do to. I didn't when I first began this path with my completed MS and all my blissfully ignorant optimism. But, I have accepted it. I have prepared myself for it, and I am certainly willing to work hard.What I had not been prepared for was how much writing might cost me. Becoming serious about being a writer has permeated every part of my life, forcing my old life to bend around this new intrusion. It is so much more than just the time that gets put into the actual writing. It means that as well as now caring for two children under three, running my own Web Design Business (where I am also the Web Designer), maintaining a home, I am also taking online courses, weekend workshops, reading blogs, blogging, reading books, taking the time to review, making sure to work on building my social media following... And writing! Revising old MS, working on new MS, drafting more ideas.... Not to mention the critiquing; digesting and following up on my critiques, and critiquing others!
Yeah I'm complaining about the amount of work aren't I? Okay, I'm fine with that, I can live with that, it's all the other stuff that comes as a consequence. The costs... It's the work I am not taking on in order to spend more time writing, the financial burden of earning less and spending more - on learning - on books - on booking into interstate writer's conferences. It's the time I should be playing with my kids but I'm checking my Tweets and replying to them. It's the lack of sleep that makes me tired, and cranky, and out of patience with my family. It's the time I used to spend curled on the couch with hubby but I now spend with headphones in and hands on keyboard. It the arguments we have because well - I'm just not paying attention... to anything. When a scene pops into my mind I switch mode, I don't hear a word being said to me.It's going to the supermarket for one thing, one single household item, and coming home with a dozen items except for that one thing because I was listening to some kick-ass dialogue in my head. It's leaving my credit card at the shops, and my phone in the doctor's surgery, realising halfway through a meeting my shirt is inside out, and no longer ever paying my bills on time. It's my children no longer getting their clothes from their wardrobe, but the clean washing basket because the days of folding, and ironing, and putting away are over. It's the mess that I can never seem to get on top of, and never being able to find anything.
The thing is - it's not just me who has to pay the price. It's my whole family, my husband and my children. As supportive as they are, how long can I fairly expect them to live like this? For the sake of what? What is the light at the end of the tunnel? Because if I am honest, if I am realistic I know that I may never be published. Even if my MS is amazing it just might never happen. It might take ten years, I might have to write twenty more MS's before anything I write ever sees anything other than the bottom of a giant slush pile.So I have to ask myself is it worth it? What is it that I even want? When I asked myself that question I was not even sure what my goal was. Yeah, it is somehow wrapped up in getting published but it's not for recognition. It's not so I can say 'I am a published author'. It's not because I have delusions about celebrity, I mean I even do all this under another name... It's not about money, other than I would like for my passion to be my job, okay and maybe I'd like it if someone else came and did my housework. It's just that I want to be able to write, because I need to write.
That's what it all comes down to. I just need to write. My dream, my goal, is to someday have that writing available for people to read, and that maybe; just maybe, it might touch a few people. I want to find a way to balance writing and life. I want to write all day without other career obligations and spend my evenings with my family. But will it ever happen? Only if I make it happen.So when I think about the cost, I also think about what it would cost me to not do this. That cost, would be greater than I could bear. So when I don't win that contest, when someone says something negative about my work, when I get a form letter rejection, when my blog views feel non-existent, without comment, and I ask myself who the hell am I to talk to other people about writing? I remind myself of the alternative. I hold on to the few shreds of proof I have that I am nearly there, the published authors who have told me so, and the almost made it's.
The one thing I have learned about writing is that once it is truly in you it cannot be turned off. I am doing my best to turn these dreams into realities; I just wish I could always do it with a smile.