By Deborah Moore
Being a writer can be terrifying. It’s scary to send off queries. Deadlines can feel ominous and cause panic*. There’s also that lingering lost feeling. That worry about not writing well enough, fast enough or often enough. Paradoxically, the idea of success is also enough to elicit anxiety.
|My computer, stretching out on the table soaking in some rays and enjoying the view.|
The idea of not writing eclipses them all. Whenever I feel lost and like giving up, I take a moment to consider the alternative. There is nothing quite as sobering as imagining my life without telling stories. A place where I ignore the ideas and characters in my head.
“You see, rock and roll isn't a career or hobby - it's a life force. It's something very essential.”
The Edge - U2
To give up on writing would be like deciding to give up on air, food or the company of people. This isn’t an exaggeration either. I feel exhausted and bitter when I don’t take the time to let the stories in my head spill out onto the keys of my computer**. The weight of ignored ideas weighs me down mentally and physically.
Conversely, when I sit down and write I return to the world as a happier person. I’m a better wife, mother, friend and all around person.
|Me looking happy, and not just a little bit crazy. |
That’s why I can’t think of writing as a hobby. I don’t make money eating, breathing or drinking water. No one is going to praise me for taking care of these basic needs. That doesn’t make them irrelevant.
No one is going to say, “You’re wasting time with that eating hobby of yours again?”*** It would seem silly. I encourage you to defend your life force with the same intensity. Maybe you’ll make money or receive notoriety from it, maybe you won’t. If it truly is a deep passionate part of yourself, it won’t matter. It’s not about if I will make a living as a writer. Being a writer is living.
I’d love to hear from you. What is your life force? How do you foster it? What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?****
That last one was mostly there to see if you’re still paying attention. If not, I won’t blame you. As I said earlier, I tend to get…ooo look there’s a katydid on my window screen.
*It has dead right in the word. It’s like the word diet and die. Some things warn you right away.
**It can be messy, but ultimately it’s worth it.
***Well, I’m sure there’s someone who would say that in the world. There’s always that one person. You know who I’m talking about.
****Mine is strawberry.