Wednesday, 3 October 2012

IWSG:Three Things

This is for the insecure writers support group. There are two or three things that are hard for me when it comes to writing at the moment, but it's the way they interlink that makes things really tricky. The first is simple workload. Because I do this for a living, I have to write at a rate that is like doing Nanowrimo every month. It should be good that I'm getting the work, but truthfully, I've reached the stage where I've had to cut back a couple of clients just to keep things manageable.

The bigger danger that comes from this is that now so much of me is invested in writing. Writing is the main thing I do now, rather than a hobby, so when things go wrong with my writing, it's hard to keep a distance from them. Even simple things like edits or rejections feel like more than they used to, and that gets in the way, because perfectionism is one thing no writer can afford.

But what they feed into are moments when I wonder if it's all worth it. When I don't actually love writing, and then I feel guilty for not loving it. Because what's the one thing people always say when you tell them you write for a living? That it must be a great job. Must. There are moments I love, but there's a pressure that comes with the idea of doing this for a living, and it's the pressure that says if you don't love every minute, you're doing something wrong, or somehow not being grateful enough for the opportunity.

5 comments:

Julie said...

Writing as you do must take its toll. And it is such a personal reflection, isn't it?

I spent over 20 years working in higher ed. Even though I took pride in my work, certainly, it was about managing an office and staff; it was a collective effort and not such a direct or obvious relationship to my talents (or lack thereof).

Wonderful that you are able to work through this and be so successful. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Cherie Reich said...

I completely get where you are coming from. When writing becomes the occupation, then there will be times when it will not be so great to be a writer. It's like with any job where money is on the line. I think it is smart to cut back a bit and make things more manageable. :)

Laura Brown said...

I think a lot of people are in this situation. Whether it be family, work, or other commitments, juggling priorities is a tough job for all sensible people, and writers are no exception to that :( I suppose it maybe too early for me to have an accurate view on it, but I think there are probably various pros and cons to writing-on-the-side VS writing-occupation. All I know is, I love writing, so it has to be done somewhere. Hard work pays off in the end though :)

cleemckenzie said...

I don't think it's possible to love anything 100% of the time, writing included.

Enjoyed your post.

Gina said...

I completely understand what you are saying and I don't think you should punish yourself for being human. When the work we do becomes our bread-winner things gets serious and rejections or faults are not stuff to be taken lightly. At least that's how most of us react to 'failures' in our lines of work. It's just natural. In that sense, you should just take a breath and know that what you feel is normal but that you are indeed giving more importance to stuff that, in the end, can be resolved.

About not loving every minute of your work, who does?! We love it most of the times, but there are always times when we need a vacation, when we want to forget about it for a week, a month, or even a year. We feel like it because it's taking all of our energy and because we can't. Maybe if we could we would miss it in a week and come back with a renewed love for it.

I'm a mother before a writer and I often say that when my first girl was born I found my calling in life, yet, there are times I wish I could leave the house and forget about everything if only for a few days. It doesn't mean I'm a bad mother or that I don't thank God every minute for the two angels he gave me.

Don't be too hard on yourself!
Best of luck.