Sunday, December 5, 2010

Writing for Our Selves

Lately a lot of people have been under pressure.  I've certainly been feeling it.  Pressure from my day-job, pressure about the holidays, pressure about elder-care responsibilities, pressure to be more fit, pressure to make better use of my time, pressure to get the yard work done... you name it.

Do we really need to add the pressure to write a novel?  To find an agent and revise the entire book in the process?  To revise again to get an editor?  To (perhaps) wind up with a novel that is not our story anymore?  To be pushed into writing two books a year even though our natural pace may be slower than that?  To have our writing or our families or our jobs suffer in the attempt? 

Must our process of writing cease to be a delight in order for us to succeed?

It depends on our definition(s) of success; my definition says "no" to the additional pressure.

I don't need another full-time career -- I've already got one that is always straining to be more than 40 hours/week.  I need a(nother) creative outlet.  That's what I want from writing.

You should do what you've got to do.  But remember to do it by choice, with your eyes open to the benefits and costs both to yourself and to those around you.

Happy trails.


  1. I'd like to say I write for myself, but the truth is, after a few years I decided to write with the goal of getting published. So I am one of those who changed my story to assure my book would go to print. I didn't sacrifice quality, though, only my time. (And the lining of my stomach and the color of my hair!) But in the end I think I made the right choice. I'm happy with the final product and I hope, if you read it some day, you'll enjoy it.

  2. I'm glad you don't regret the path you've taken. Right now, I don't think that path's for me, though. I'll definitely read your book when it comes out -- I'm looking forward to it.