A year ago today I wrote and published a blog post about my little girl’s dream to be a writer. I wrote about how this time, this time, I wasn’t going to give up writing again. That this time it was going to stick. This time I wouldn’t let fear get in the way of my writing.
Well, it did. Fear crept in, and it got in the way.
See, my problem has always been I’ve believed that being a writer just wasn’t “enough.” That there had to be something else. To be a writer – especially a creative writer – was not enough in this world. It’s why I changed my major from Writing to Elementary Education back in college years ago – and then graduated with a degree that I never even wanted. I never wanted to be a teacher, but I felt like I had to be. But I had to do something else other than writing. To be a writer was just a past time, just playtime, really. You can’t just be a writer. It’s not realistic. It doesn’t make sense. Especially not for someone who has doubted herself and her writing for years and years.
All over the Place
So, I jumped all over the place. I hopped from job to job, from a new project or venture to another, from one idea to something else entirely the next day.
Nothing ever stuck.
And it’s because I never belonged in any of them.
I tried. I really, really did. I tried to make these things stick. But sooner or later, anxiety would creep in and I’d ditch whatever it was I was working on at the time. Done and gone. I never belonged there anyway.
I had to do the inner work. I had to dig up the fear and doubt and sift through it. But first, I sifted through it searching for a way to make one of those projects work, but they never did. They never would, either. I didn’t belong as a teacher, not even a writing teacher – especially a writing teacher who ignored her own writing.
I belonged as a writer. I belong as a writer.
It was my husband who finally took a look at one of my last projects, a last dying breath, and asked if I really needed to do this, or if I just needed to write.
And I lost it. I came up with all the excuses and reasons why I absolutely could not just be a writer. And then over the course of the day, I let the idea marinate in my mind.
It could happen, I finally came to realize. Not that it might work, but that it could happen.
It’s all I ever wanted. All I ever really wanted, besides a happy marriage and to be a mother – and I have both of those. All that’s left is for me to surrender to just being a writer. No more projects, no more side hustles, no more jobs. Just be a writer. That’s all. That’s all you’ve ever really wanted, and now, at last, it’s all you need.
A Woman’s Dream
So here I am in my mid-30’s, finally surrendering to my childhood dream, this time not as a child, but as a woman. It’s not just playtime (except when it is) – this is my life’s work. It’s time to buckle down and write.
So, what’s next?
I’m 50-some pages into my newest novel, The Grave on Tanager Drive, and 20-some pages into another novel I affectionately call Maggie after the main character. Keep writing these books.
I’ve been accepted into the mentoring program at The Institute for Children’s Literature.
I’ve also been accepted into the Writing for Children & Young Adults MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
I’ll be moving forward in both of these programs, growing myself as a writer and my writing career.
I’ll be dusting off Going over Home and Going over Jordan, my first two novels.
Most of all… I’ll be writing. I’ll be a writer.
I’ll be a writer.
Thanks for sticking with me. I’m finally done searching for somewhere I don’t belong, and landing home. I’m coming back to myself, and I’m here to stay, this time for real.