I love being an author, and I hate being an author. That's no mystery. Writing is my passion, my dream--not to make tons of money (though it would be nice) but to express myself in the written word brings me incredible joy and peace. But at the same time the process of writing for publication is miserable. You write, you rewrite, you kill yourself over a project and submit, submit, submit!! And you are rejected, rejected, rejected!! Without a thick skin (and sometimes despite it) we authors evaluate and re-evaluate ourselves, our goals and our talent.
I've done this. I started writing at age 14. Near twenty years later I've finally given up the internal struggle to write or not to write. At times I have tried to be realistic, to be practical. Writing is not a money-maker--very few authors get rich doing it. No, fewer than that. It's time consuming. It takes away from family and work. I need to stop goofing off and grow up, find a career, go to school, etc. It's been a rough twenty years.
But ultimately I can't stop writing, and about three years ago I realized why. Writing is a part of me. It's in my soul and from my soul. I can no more stop writing than stop breathing. When I don't write my behavior changes. I become cranky, moody and short tempered. I'm generally unhappy and unfulfilled, despite my wonderful marriage and fabulous children. Writing is something I have to do, not just for myself but to be the best "me" I can be for my family.
That of course doesn't mean writing magically became easy. I still struggle like crazy for time to write and I still hate the process of trying to be published. But I suppose that will never change. Even when it gets easier, in theory, it will never be easy. But I have to do it. I WANT to do it. And in my own way I love to do it.
Wow! you hit the nail on the head with that! I understand that struggle so well it's scary.
but, this is why we have blogs and email and writers conferences - so we never have to feel alone!
Cheri - Great post! It really captures the wonder and torture of being a writer. BTW - welcome to the AI group!
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