I imagine the people who read this blog are either a) friends of mine, b) have "met" me online, c) have read something of mine, d) and/or are writers of some sort. I realize not everything I write in this blog appeals to all of you, but I like to think there's at least few gems here and there.
Anyway, I mention all that because those of you who write can probably relate to this entry, but I'm hoping the rest of you will enjoy it, too.
So I got cut from the Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest. And as with most of the times I get rejected, it's made me wonder why I'm in the position to be rejected at all.
This isn't a "woe is me, no one appreciates my writing" deal. This is a "sweet fancy Moses, I'd be so much happier if I didn't write" deal -- because I feel like that a lot.
Every aspect of my life gets divided attention. I feel a bit weird about the fact that the people at work know I'm a writer, because they also must know that's my ultimate goal -- to write, to only write. I've said it before and I'll say it again: any job I have is second fiddle, no matter how good it is. I sometimes wonder if I'd be better at my job, or at least more proactive about it, if my heart was in it, or at least not somewhere else.
There are plenty of times I think about the fact that I don't really make as much money as I should, particularly given how much I've learned over the last few months at my job. If I really put myself to it, I could probably find a job that paid me more. But this theoretical job probably won't have the short commute my current job has. It probably won't have the understanding and entertaining people that I work with now. It would probably require more of me than I'm currently willing (able?) to give.
A few weeks ago, a cousin-in-law of mine asked me when I found the time to write. That's a fair question, given that I have a full time job and I now live in a house that requires a certain level of upkeep even when we're not doing things like fixing up the master bedroom. I told him I write whenever I can, and try to make those writing sessions as long as possible to make up for the days when I don't have the time.
But I do have time, which is something I doubt I'll be able to say when we have kids. I have no idea what I'll do then.
It's not unreasonable to ask why I continue to do this. Let's face facts, I haven't really managed to do a whole lot. Yes, I've got a few things out there in the world, but, again, I still have to have a day job. And I realize that I'm addressing this as an all or nothing situation, but that's also just the way I am. Whether correct or not, I define success as being able to write for a living.
At what point do I read the writing on the wall and call it quits? My life would be much easier if I did. I sometimes think it's possible I would be happier. Yet I can't stop. For some reason, I have to do it, and I wish that wasn't the case, I really do. I wish I could just be happy with the life I have -- god knows I have plenty of reasons to be happy.
That's the bottom line -- why can't I just be happy with what I have? I feel like most people can do that. Why can't I?
Writing is a strange addiction. I wonder what rehab would be like. I also wonder if, when I finally have kids, if that's when I'll give it up. What will it take to get me to stop? Because constant rejection doesn't seem to be doing it.