Thursday, January 10, 2013

When Life Gets in the Way

Sometimes, life gets away from us. Sometimes... Life is too much.

This blog has been silent for an entire year. 2012 is empty. I didn't write a single word here. My personal blog, however, has 20 entries for 2012, about twice as many as I normally write. Sometimes, life takes over, and writing gets pushed aside.

For me, the forces pushing on my writing were divorce, the sudden and unexpected loss of a dear friend, and the work and effort that went into earning my first college degree while adjusting to a new life as a single mom and trying to field my kids' questions about my husband's change of heart.

While not every writer will go through the upheaval of complete life changes, everyone faces challenges. Your obstacles might be as simple as making time away from Facebook, or working chinks of writing time into the cracks between running kids from friends to school activities to clubs and sports. It might be as simple as fighting depression or anxiety when faced with a blank page.

One thing writers have in common is that writing is hard. We sit down every day and have to begin our jobs fresh. We usually learn on the job, with very little training. Once we've been working for a while, we might attend a few conferences or join a writing group, and begin to discover concepts like craft and voice... and then we go back to our solitary toil and try to discover them in ourselves. Writing, on the whole, is a difficult mountain to climb.

Then, if we stick with it, if we keep growing and learning and developing until we finally achieve the ability to write publishable material, we discover that the market is very  tough. If learning writing was hard, marketing writing is nearly impossible. Editors want experts in the field for non fiction, and life experience or at least an interesting personality for fiction marketing. Editors don't want writers; they want marketers.

So why do we keep doing it? Why do we turn to freelancing, writing and editing web content, or grant writing or technical writing? Why do we accept jobs outside our field just to pay the bills and support our writing habit? Why do we keep trying in the face of such impossible odds? Because we're writers, that's why.

Happy writing, friends.

"lf when you wake up in the morning you can think of nothing but writing...then you're a writer." ~Whoopi Goldberg, Sister Act Two, quoting
Letters To A Young Poet. Rainer Maria Rilke


  1. Welcome back to the writing world! I've spent the last year not writing, but marketing We All Married Idiots. I'm exhausted from not writing, because writing invigorates me. May 2013 invigorate you too, my friend.

  2. I Love love love your Idiots book!! And just in case anyone stops by and wonders what we're talking about:

    Marketing IS exhausting. I've begun putting my YA novel back out there, but I get discouraged with the limited number of markets available. So many publishing houses have merged... Indie publishing is still a possibility, but I'm sending The Dead Mothers Club out for one more round of submissions before I turn to e-publishing.

    I hope 2013 is a beautiful new year for you, too, my friend!


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