I find myself at a crossroads...and maybe this is what a mid-life crisis feels like?
Over half of my life has been spent as a writer. That's a long time, for (though more than some, still) little to show for it. How long does a person continue to do the same thing over and over again, and expect a different result to take place? How does a person enact change after doing the same thing over and over again? Do you completely remove yourself from the field, and find something else to do?
Yet, giving it up really isn't all that much of an option, either. I do have a small group of core fans (mostly friends I know or those I count as relatives) who enjoy what I write, and I get enjoyment out of giving them new material. This isn't even counting the fact that I've considered myself a writer for so long that I'm not sure what I'd be if I wasn't...
Maybe I should just buy myself a sports car...
I don't know how old you are... but I'm 58 and I've been scribbling since I was in the 6th grade. That makes about, oh, 80% of my life. I quit for 7 years once... nearly went nuts. Bottom line, I write for myself first and foremost; if others like it, too, that's a bonus. Sure, I get tired and need to recharge... but sooner or later, for my own sanity, I write again. It's worth it, even if it's just for me.ReplyDelete
Money is important. You know I get that. And yet it isn't everything. I'm not sure you would be you without your writing. I do have some thoughts on some different things you could do that at least might mix it up a bit for you. Cup of coffee sometime? :)ReplyDelete
I've been having similar feelings. Like maybe I should just quit and work at Wal-mart instead. =( I'd be miserable if I quit, though. We all have those discouraging moments. Right now I feel really good about writing. It's a roller coaster. Anyway, you have to decide what will truly make you happy. But I hope you don't quit.ReplyDelete
It comes down to do you still enjoy writing? If yes, then keep going. If no, then stop. If yes and you want your work to reach more people, it's a difficult thing to do, but there are lots of options.ReplyDelete
When my son was born, I put my writing aside for a little while. It ended up being nearly ten years before I started writing again. An email from a friend stating that if she could do anything she "wanted to meet Darien Roarke for the first time, all over again." For her, I started writing again. I'm still writing, three years later, for me.ReplyDelete
I didn't start writing with visions of fame and fortune. When I was a full-time writer, I covered my bills. I paid my mortgage and fed myself with it -- barely.
I hammered away at story after story because I was compelled to write. Even during my sabbatical from writing, dialog tags and scenes skittered through my head. I rewrote films, television shows and movies -- and yes, novels, too -- all in my head. Not for the boatloads of money it brought (insert sarcasm font) but because I couldn't help myself.
Writing isn't what we do, it's who we are. You can't stop being a writer. Your imagination won't let you. Our lives are at the whim of our muse. You just have to decide how you want to define success or even accomplishment.
The answer isn't quitting your day job, or buying a sports car, or hiking the Appalachian Trail. The answer is being thankful that you have an outlet for all those words and people who appreciate them.
I'd rather have a small, devoted cult following than a vast, lukewarm audience that may or may not be there when you need them in your corner. But that's just me.
Buy a Firefly class freighter and then discover that you have a powerful need to eat this month...ReplyDelete
If you aren't enjoying what you are doing, take a break. Perhaps it is just the genre or characters you've fallen out of love with (though I cannot fathom such blasphemy) or maybe you just need to recharge.