It’s been awhile since I’ve really written on the blog. I actually typed up my whole June Wrap-Up and July goals at the end of June, but I never hit publish. It, oddly, didn’t seem like the time to publish it. I added future goals to the bottom of that post, but I didn’t think the brief mention was enough for what I wanted to express.
So, today’s blog post is going to be a little bit of a heart-to-heart inspired by an Instagram Live video chat by fellow author Rebecca K. Sampson. I won’t delve into my journey much or how much I agreed with her talk about removing “aspiring” from bios (you can read the post I wrote previously on that topic here). But, I did want to clear a few items up, especially for those who know me in real life.
Writing is my career. Writing is Not My Hobby.
Many people who met me later in life didn’t experience my need to write as a child. (So, I don’t hold their misjudgment against them.) No one ever prompted me to start writing. No one ever even taught me how to write before I delved in. I just wrote. Every summer, for hours on end, I would lay on my blue-carpeted bedroom floor and fill half-empty school spiral notebooks with stories. I wrote so much, that my mom would beg me to head out and play outside with my friends. I just wanted to get my stories out, and I wrote until my hand cramped.
Writing has never truly been “just” a hobby for me. There are many years I labeled writing as a hobby myself because I believed the lie that everyone told me: that I would never be a published author. It’s one of the many reasons I gave up writing for a decade. It was too disheartening to believe that they were all correct
I did write here and there in those ten years, I couldn’t not write. I would take long breaks in writing, but eventually, I felt like I was going crazy, and I would write. But, each time in those ten years I sat down to write, I lugged around the baggage and criticisms I had acquired over the years. I couldn’t write without worrying my work wouldn’t be marketable. I couldn’t write without feeling like I needed the promise of income to make my writing worthwhile. I mostly wrote about the inability to write. And I was so frustrated. I almost came to hate my drive to write. Because, again, I can’t not write. Writing is as much a part of me as the color of my eyes.
Fast-forward to now (if you want more backstory, you can read it here, here, and here): I am seventy-five percent of the way through my first-ish draft. (It’s probably more accurate to say draft 1.75 because I’m revising as I go.)
I’m going to repeat this again: writing is not my hobby. I am not writing this for my personal pleasure. I am not writing this to “have a creative outlet.” I am not writing this in my “free time.” I am writing this in every crack of every moment of my time. I am a mom, yes, but I am not just a mom (read more about that here). I am writing this book with the full intention of publishing this with a traditional publishing house. I’m not naive to think this is easy. I know it’s hard work, that’s why I have poured HUNDREDS of hours into this in the past six months. My goal is to become a career author and nothing less. I am writing my manuscript. I am preparing for revisions. I have my potential editor chosen. I have researched the traditional publishing route. I am treating this as a job.
This is hard work. It is not an easy (nor always fun) path, but I know beyond a doubt that this is what I’m supposed to be doing in conjunction with motherhood. I finally have gotten to a point where I refuse to listen to the people who question my goals and make me doubt my abilities. I am intelligent. I am hardworking.
And, (Rebecca, this is for you) I am an author.