Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Maybe Writing Isn't For Me

I'm supposed to be writing today. My kids are back in school so I am supposed to be back to work writing. Except I don't feel like a writer any more.

I thought about going back to teaching instead of writing. Not necessarily because I want to teach, though I did love it at the time, but because it seemed easier than working at this writing/trying to get published thing. Turns out the state of Wisconsin takes their teacher licensing even more seriously than their proof of residency requirements which don't even get me started on my two trips to the DMV to prove that I am who I say I am and that I live here. All that to say my fall back plan may be even more work than writing...

So back to plan A.

I actually have some ideas. Book ideas. Essay ideas (ok really just blog posts).

I am starting to think about the book I have written and how I can improve it. I am thinking of new characters and new ideas.

But writing...

Not so much.

Heck, I am only writing this all down now so that I can be done for the day and go back to reading and lurking on Twitter guilt free. And to avoid the grocery store which I was planning on doing to avoid writing.

Turns out I will do anything to avoid the grocery store. Which gets back to part of why I need to get better at being a real, hopefully professional, writer. I hate to cook and eating out gets expensive and hard to justify if all I did today was watch Gilmore Girls and play Candy Crush.

I don't know why it is so hard to write. Except I do.

It is hard work. Sometimes the ideas flow really quickly. Sometimes stream of consciousness writing works. But sometimes, often, the words don't come. At least the good words, the well written, descriptive turns of phrases hide from me. I know they are out there. I read good books all the time. But I can't find the words. Or I don't like the words I have found.

Or even worse, I love the words, I love the story, but the agent rejects it. My writing has proven to not be good enough.

Can I make it better? Probably. Can I keep working at this thing and somehow find my voice and find the craft? I dream I can.

But to do that I have to walk through the muck of rejection and disappointment and sitting down and having no words. I have to open up my Scrivener file and start somewhere and work slowly through the words, 80,000 words I have written, and edit and rewrite and reimagine and ponder word choice and content and voice.

I have to face the rejection and the knowing in my head that I am not good enough and work to become better.

Perseverance is not my strength. Not yet anyway.

But what choice to I have.

The state of Wisconsin wants me to pass a history test and take classes if I want to teach here. And then I would have to wake up earlier than I like, put on real clothes, and go to a job every single day. I love history. I love teenagers. But honestly, writing seems easier than that.

I am hopeful that is not because I am lazy but because I actually fell in love with writing.

And the life of a writer (with a husband who pays the bills).


  1. I am praying for perseverance, too. It is the keeping with it--the task before me-- that is so difficult for me, too. But we must look at who He has created--ask Him to show us what He sees, the daughter He beholds with His eyes, not our own, to press into the places of unknown, where He is with us, but we fear we can't see. Love to you, sweet friend. XO (P.S. I've missed you here.)

    1. BTW, I should tell you I am currently writing, for me, a crazy thing self-entitled, "10 ways to ignore God". . . .But I am *writing* it. ;)

  2. Some of the best things are the hardest. And I think for many of us moms finding our place in the world - whether it is writing, making lunches, working in a "real" job wearing "real" clothes (you crack me up), discovering what our purpose is (I still haven't figured that out) - is hard. The best we can do is keep trying, praying and thinking. You will find your place again.

    1. It is hard to figure out who we are as our kids head off into the world, taking a huge part of our job/identity with them. It definitely helps to share this journey with good friends who get it.

  3. So good to see your post. I love your writing! ! Even when your writing about not writing. So witty, so real...keep going! ! Miss you.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement. Miss you too. The rink is not the same without you.