Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Writing Bug.

I'm not exactly sure I have "the writing bug." When I read books from other writers about what it feels like to be a writer, I can totally sympathize. It's very "in your own head" and can be extremely isolating... if you are actively writing that is. It feels like selfish work. It sometimes feels like pointless work.

I keep seeing ads for a subscription to something called Master Class. Have you heard of it? Basically, it's a company that has a ton of top professionals in different fields who teach a set of sessions on their field of expertise. I love the little blurb by Margaret Atwood! I also watched the ad for the class with Judy Blume and she said some interesting things that stuck with me. She says the only reason she thinks writers write is because they feel they have to, that they don't have a choice. She says it is a horrible profession; isolating, full of rejection, painfully slow, and often demoralizing.

It's that "have to write" that keeps me going. The last couple months I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out my need to write. And, when I'm honest, I think I was trying to silence the part of me that needs to write, or feels compelled to. I certainly don't think I need to write for my own consolation, or to feel better about life. I'd really rather not! In fact, I'm sick of writing something and trying to see if I can make it good enough for people to want to read and share it. I know I don't HAVE to do that, but it's the natural next step my brain wants to take when I write something.

I do sometimes write simply because I just HAVE to share what I am learning. That's the part of writing that resonates with me. I enjoy explaining stuff. I love comping up with the perfect analogy for something that is difficult to describe, or digging deep into my research to come up with a more precise way of knowing and understanding whatever it is I'm studying. But the job of writing and the "career" that it seems to produce in the field I write in... I just can't envision that.

I used to see myself as becoming a big-name Christian author, and I won't lie, it's still kind of enticing to me. I've just always desired to stand out and be known for something impressive (just being honest here). But more and more I am seeing that I am scared to become that, and I feel like I have no idea how I could possibly navigate that and my family very well at the same time. It's not a dream I want to chase, but I still can't escape the compulsion to write, or the burden that I feel when I stop doing it. However, being very type-A, and having an overbearing Achiever personality, I cannot escape all the planning, figuring out, and trying to make-it-happen that comes with having a goal.

Truth is, I can't figure out a goal that works with my life right now, and it's driving me a little bonkers. I understand that with homeschooling and mothering well, my goals necessitate a much slower pace than I'd like to go. But I often would rather just not do it than go so slow. So I distract myself, pursue other things, and try to figure out how to turn off the "you must write" switch that is somewhere in my soul.

I don't think I can turn it off, but I'm not actually excited for where that will lead me. I suppose it's wise to not be disillusioned about the future I am pursuing, but I'm definitely trying to figure out how to move forward with excitement about it when it all feels very daunting and potentially very un-fun.

This might be a lot more soul-searching than you bargained for in this post. But, it's where I'm at. And it's what you get since I couldn't think of anything better to write about today - ha! Thanks for reading anyway :)

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