Today is the second day of May 2018, which means I have been seriously focusing on my writing for four months. This isn’t my first attempt. I’ve been writing on and off for 35 to 40 years, depending on what officially counts as writing, but this feels different. As Ginny Baker said in Sixteen Candles, “I’ve had men who’ve loved me before, but not for six months in a row.” (Now I’m wondering if I should have waited two more months to write this post for full effect.)
Over the years I’ve drifted away from writing for all the usual reasons. Laziness and distraction. Fear of failure or disappointment. Sometimes my job felt like the real career that I wanted, until it wasn’t. Marriage, kids, divorce. Juggling single parenthood as the primary parent who must maintain a secure job and health insurance while managing the kids nearly full time. During all that time, there were spurts of effort and some successes, but nothing lasted.
Then, 2018 came and things felt different. For a number of reasons (too many to explain in this little summary), I have made a serious commitment to writing this year. I’ve narrowed my focus to picture books. I’ve put down money for resources. I’ve made time. My butt is staying in the chair. Or, more specifically, it’s sitting on the bed with my laptop actually on my lap. Desk and chair still need to be cleared…
I don’t love writing about myself, so this is enough for now. I do as much navel gazing as the next person, but I don’t love to publicly share that navel gazing. Is it my immigrant-family upbringing? Is it my aging Gen-Xer-ness? Who’s to say? Ultimately, I think I will benefit from acknowledging and reflecting on my process as I attempt to pursue my writing, and if anyone who is even newer to this than I am can benefit from my experience, why not share it? I’ve certainly benefited from the wisdom of others who chose to share their experiences online. I often find these little nuggets of wisdom while cruising the internet when I should be writing. Plus, working on this blog will allow me to say that I am writing while I’m actually avoiding my real writing. So, win-win!
That’s it for now. Happy writing, all!
Today’s Tidbit: If you aren’t already following Jess Keating on Twitter (@Jess_Keating), check her out. Her posts are equal parts master class in writing and therapy session (for writers). Her focus is on children’s books, but any writer can benefit.