Why Bother?

Four days working. Three days at my own disposal. And still I fail to do what I had in mind on my free Wednesdays: write.

And why not? What’s keeping me? I can find countless excuses: I need to work extra hours; I need to spend some quality time with my boyfriend (this does seem to be a vital part in a relationship); I work all day behind a computer and I don’t feel like doing so at home as well. The list goes on.

But that’s not the real reason. Right now I’m just lost. I’ve got a job, but like many others here, it’s only temporary. The first thing most people ask me is: ‘What are your plans for January?’ – I don’t know. And then: ‘What are you looking for?’ – I don’t know.

Of course they are genuinely interested and supportive, but after a while it gets a bit annoying. Then I start fretting and worrying. Destroying what little mood I had to do some writing.

I’m not entirely clueless, if I could choose I would focus on my writing. However, making a living out of writing is not the easiest of choices as there are financial obligations that need to be kept in mind. (I don’t think my landlord would be considerate if I told him I couldn’t pay the rent.)

When I go through my notebooks, which are full of bits and scribbles, my confidence is lowered further. My main problem is that I hardly finish anything. And when I go through my stories, I realize they still need more work. Are the stories anywhere near being publishable? Why bother to keep writing? (Bye-bye writing mood.)

In the end you just have to go on and stay positive. So here’s why I keep writing:

“Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.”

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“There’s no comparison between what’s lost by not trying and what’s lost by not succeeding.”

- Francis Bacon

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your dreams. Small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you too, can become great.”

- Mark Twain

Cecile

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9 Responses to “Why Bother?”

  1. Feels strange to “like” this. I think there needs to be a “I feel your pain because it’s mine, too” button. Hang in there!

  2. I can absolutely relate to everything you wrote up there. My passion lies in writing and reading books, and I find that I can barely make time to read, let alone write! I have piles and piles of books waiting to be read at home, and believe me, I WILL read them one day – but it’s very difficult when you come back after 10 hours of working, exhausted and in a snappy mood, to just sit and relax and read or write.

    “So much to do, so little time” has become my mantra these past few months. There is so much I want to do, so many dreams I want to make reality, but where do I start? In fact, how could I start when work is taking 80% of my day?

    My solution was starting a blog in order to push myself to write. I’ve started setting monthly reading goals in order to make sure I continue reading at a regular pace.

    In the end, all I can say is, I feel you.

    • You always know that there are people out there facing the same difficulties, but it’s nice to hear them too once in a while. Thanks :)

      And sooner or later I find myself in control of everything again :)

  3. AH! I’m not the only one!!! My husband tries so hard to gently push me to write. I’ve told him I want to write a book but, like you, I look at all of my scattered, partial ideas and don’t even know where to start. I know people say the ‘trick’ is to write everyday but, like I tell the hubbs, who’s got the time and energy to do that every, single day? Certainly not me. After a long day at work, making dinner, doing the dishes (even though he helps), when I have a “free” moment, I want to keep it exactly that….FREE! With the things I write about, it just takes so much emotional work to take myself to the place where I can think through it all that the writing by itself is tiresome. Add to that the stress of the workday and writing becomes just one more thing I *have* to do. I just don’t have the gusto to throw caution to the wind, quit my job, and write all day. I rather enjoy a roof over my head, food in my belly, and electricity in my house. I know some would say that I have to take a chance and bet on myself but quitting my “real” job just isn’t an option. Thanks for this post! It’s nice to have some company over here on the shoulder of the road.

    • Hi Stacy, it’s good to know I’m not alone either. Quitting a job is all very nice and sounds easy, but like you say, it’s not that simple. Writing sometimes does feel like another thing that has to be done on top of the other things that need to be done. But sooner or later I will either master the way to combine a job with writing or quit the day-time job. :) Good luck to you too. We’ll get there- eventually ;)

  4. Cecile, this is a wonderful post, and very inspiring. There have been times when I wished I could just let it go, punch a time clock, live a simpler life and not have to think about daily word counts or life goals for my writing. But I think that writing is so demanding that nobody would do it if they weren’t compelled to. Our inner voices demand to be heard, our words strive for traction that can only be had from the paper pages beneath their feet. (Or perhaps, if they are destined for e-publishing, they must feel the electric energy of the internet to feel alive.) In any case, you are not alone, and by sharing your experience, we know that we are not alone either. Best of luck to you. I love the quote by Francis Bacon. I will have that in mind as I polish up my novel these next couple of weeks in order to submit it.

    • Hi Naomi, yes letting go seems the best thing to do at times. But I can’t stop, tried that once, didn’t work for me either. So all I can do and I guess that goes for most of us is just to move on. The quotes help a bit too :) Good luck on the polishing up of your novel.

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