Tuesday, March 22
Am I Truly a Writer and Other Questions for the Universe
But yesterday, I worked on the new Women of Willow Bay book and finished a whole new chapter. Now, I’m aching to continue writing—Libby and Nick's tale is brewing and so is Sarah's story—you remember Sarah from the women's shelter store in Chicago in Sex and the Widow Miles? And the time travel story sends me to my notebook as ideas keep cropping up. I love that feeling when the creative juices are flowing. It’s almost sensual. I can spend hours world-building and refining characters and bringing a story to life, and I come away exhausted, but exhilarated. The current story sloshes around in my brain even when I’m not at the computer—while I’m driving, vacuuming, standing at the kitchen sink, characters knock at the door of my mind begging to be let out. When that happens, it’s as if I’ve found my true calling, my life’s work. But then life and work interfere again . . .
I’ve thought about letting the editing go for a while and just concentrating on writing, but I’m too much of a coward. The day job pays for necessities like health insurance and pleasures, like the lake cottage and boat gas, pedicures, and trips to see my grandson. I want those things too, so does that mean that I’m not focused enough on the craft to be a truly successful writer?
When I’m writing, I’m happy, complete. When I’m not writing, I’m worrying about not writing, but I also love my work and getting paid and lunches with my sister and cruising on the lake with Husband on a warm sunny afternoon. Should I be sacrificing more for my art? More willing to give up pleasures in order to write? Or is it enough for me to write when I can? I don’t know, I’m asking . . . that’s the question for the Universe today. Am I truly a writer if I’m not obsessed with writing?