I read a sad post from another blog friend today. She has been writing since high school but has struggled without support and friends in her area, struggled with rejections and felt alone in her uphill battle to be a writer. She is, as she puts it, "throwing in the towel." This saddened me because it could be me. Every so often I re-examine my goals and priorities and wonder if the writing life is really the life I want to pursue.
I certainly can't judge her decision. Everyone has their limit. I wonder where mine is. Like all women, there are so many things I have to keep up with and so much expected of me, it seems impossible to do the things I have to do let alone the things I want to do. Usually I find I can do so much better. But that's good, it gives me direction and something to focus on.
Today I've been thinking about the writing aspect of my life. Ever since I could hold a pencil I've written. I used to ask my mother to tell me how to spell the words so I could write them down. I probably drove her nuts. Once I learned to read and write, I used up scraps of paper and notebooks writing silly stories and poems down. I didn't I shared them with many people. Not many showed any interest. I had one great-grandmother who encouraged me to write and develop those talents and I still treasure her words today.
In junior high I wrote the required stories for English class but most of my personal writing was poetry - stuff filled with the standard teenage angst. High school was more of the same. As an adult, life took over and the creative writing I had always thrived on was put away.
I remember deciding to write something when my two oldest children were very young. I sat at the table and stared at the lined paper in front of me. That is really all I did. Sure, I wrote a few things down. Then scribbled them out. I wrote a few more things and finally threw the paper away. It seemed I had let the talent lie dormant for too long.
In the last ten years I have felt a renewed energy to write. I still don't know if the time is right, but I do it anyway. Maybe I'll never be published anywhere other than our local newspaper. Maybe I'll end up with a box of novel manuscripts under my bed. Maybe someday I'll actually be able to find my book in the bookstore. Maybe, maybe, maybe.
I find myself wishing I could live closer to the center of the LDS writing community and belong to active writing groups and attend all the conferences available in Utah, but I love my home and will have to learn to be an LDS writer on my own. Sometimes the pressures of daily life are overwhelming, I feel isolated and lonely, and sometimes I think about "throwing in the towel." Maybe someday that will be the right thing to do. But when I give any serious thought to the direction my life is taking, even looking at other options, the same phrase keeps running through my head. "You are supposed to write. Just write." So I do.