Posted by: Amanda | January 16, 2013

What I’m Writing Now

I’ve kept pondering how I can write more. Should I set a certain time and just devote myself to it? Should I write when the mood hits? Some of the writers I admire most say to be a writer you have to write every day even if you have the flu and can’t sit up in bed. Well, so I made some of that up. But at least that’s how I feel sometimes–like if I’m not writing every day at 5 am. or 8 pm or whatever time I’ve determined to write, I’m a loser in this whole craft.

But, I’ve decided I have to give up those thoughts and focus more on why I write. Then when and where doesn’t really matter that much to me. But, I guess some of that comes from being a mom to two young kids. Their schedules change so much that when and where is like the breeze.

What I’ve been focusing on lately is how I feel when I write. It’s different than anything else I ever experience. It’s that first breath of air I take after being underwater just a little longer than my limit. It feels me up and burns my insides just a little, but it does so in a freeing, good way.

I have some guilt that I have to shed about writing. I have kids, a husband, a home to care for, some part-time work, hobbies, friends, clutter to sort, service to render. And I think of my writing like, well, that thing that I’ll do if I have some leftover time and everyone else is asleep. What’s funny is that I’m a better person to all around me when I write. I’m also better to myself. But, I beat myself up, won’t let myself enjoy the writing as much as I should.

Why do I beat myself up? I think of writing as a way I can earn some money for the family, and let’s be honest, dabbling around with some fiction and creative nonfiction (which I know is my true passion) isn’t a guarantee of steady income that will pay the bills. I’ve had to let go of the idea of seeing writing as a business. It seemed I always fell into the idea of “oh, if I’m writing, I can deduct those paper clips,” or “well, if I don’t make at least x amount of dollars this year with this stuff, then I will give it up forever.” Instead, I’ve had to embrace the idea of writing totally, completely, 100% for the passion of it.

And, I’ve thought a lot about what kind of writing really gives me that breath of much needed air into the lungs of my spirit, and it’s writing creative nonfiction. I love creating characters and making up stories and letting characters tell me what’s going on in their lives, but I can’t shake the way my body and mind swells when I write creative nonfiction.

What am I writing now? I’m writing love letters, love letters to my family and friends and love letters to myself. They are sometimes cheesy and sometimes not, but they are what I’m putting on paper. Maybe one day you’ll get to read them. And maybe not.

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