Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Obligation & Passion

I read an article in the latest Writer's Digest magazine which said, "Your blog is part of your platform; it is not what you write." I stopped, put the magazine down, and thought about this for a few moments. It's true, but I enjoy the immediacy of the blog in a way that I can't get from my screenplay, memoir, short stories or articles. I can write something in just a few short minutes, post it, and begin receiving almost instant feedback on it.

I am trying to do something very specific with my blog, which is to spread the word that I am writing, and when it comes time to find an agent for my screenplay or memoir, have a small body of work to direct interested people to. I began it with this purpose, but over the last few months when things have not gone well for me, I've leaned on it like never before. It's been like a personal journal, where I can explore how I feel about issues, and the fact that others are willing to come along with me is amazing and humbling.

I've realized how much I look forward to my first cup of coffee in the morning, while embracing the opportunity to write something that will be read by living, breathing people. Writing as an act is lonely in nature, because my eyes are the only ones reading my words for months at a time, but blogging provides an immediate connection from writer to reader, and every single time I hear from any of you, it provides a satisfaction unlike any other.

I've been trying to get up early to work on my screenplay revision and my memoir, and that only works some of the time (damn that snooze button!). I've been going at full speed ahead on Jason's campaign for town council, preparing for Christmas card classes, teaching creative writing, and working on my mom's group and library board documents and ideas. I find inspiration everywhere these days, simply floating in the air, but the days and evenings roll by so quickly that I don't end up sitting down to harness those words. I have been going to bed at night with that familiar sense of disappointment and frustration sneaking up on me, the one that tells me I'm missing out on what I most want to do.

There is a fine line between our obligations and our passions. All of the things that get in the way of what I most want to do are still priorities, and must be seen as such. This is William's last year at home before Kindergarten, and I don't want to miss out on the chance to cuddle with him and spend the time together that we will both remember. I have to remind myself that there is no deadline to see my professional writing dream come true, but I feel a sense of urgency to write after so many stagnant years.

All of it is important. I can't push aside the responsibilities I have taken on to feed and clothe my family, making them feel valued and cherished. I have made commitments to the boards I serve on, and must perform those duties to the best of my ability. I want to keep my friendships alive and active, and that requires time and energy. Writing is a priority too, but I must make space for it in my life, wherever I can, and be gentle with myself when I can't hit the high targets I aim for. I have to trust that the words will not go stale, and that when I can, I will write, and try to keep all of it in reasonable perspective for this time period in my life.


  1. I can identify with this post. I'm also feeling inspiration everywhere these days, but also feeling the pressure of so many commitments. Perspective is a good thing. :)

  2. Thanks, KBW. Perspective is key, but so hard to strike the right balance, and keep it all balanced. Just when you have it down, something changes, and you are stressed and busy again (read my post for this morning). Sigh. It's a never ending battle.