I've been thinking very seriously lately about what I really want from my writing. At first it started as a hobby; it was a way to express my feelings, or entertain myself. It was also a means of communication. I often wrote notes, or letters, or poetry and gave them to people I loved. I always found that it was easier to formulate my thoughts when I was writing them. Then suddenly I found that there were stories coming to my head.
I remember a few years back my husband took me to a Josh Groban concert for my birthday, and I couldn't get the music out of my head. All I could think about were the stories that might inspire songs like he sang. I imagined what the people would be like, what they were feeling and thinking, what motivated them. I found myself unable to sleep at night. I had to write down my thoughts, even if it was just character descriptions or scenery. Suddenly everything around me inspired thoughts of stories. A song, a building, a beautiful view, a funny conversation, a striking person, a strong emotion, it all made me want to write.
After a while the writing itself became the motivation. I felt so excited when I was writing. Seeing my stories come to life was giving me a natural high. Then as I got brave enough to share them I realized how wonderful it felt to see others enjoying them. Naturally this led to thoughts of publication. I started to wonder if I could really do it. Were my stories interesting enough? Had I written them well enough? I began paying closer attention the the mechanics. I joined a writing group. I started blogging with you all. I also began delving deeper into the world of publishing and researching what it takes to get published.
Now that I'm almost done editing and polishing my first book and about half way through my second, I'm seriously wondering if I've taken the time to figure out what I really want. Every step seemed like a natural progression, but I wonder if I considered all the implications of being published.
Fortunately, writers seem to be better able to maintain their anonymity than other people in the entertainment industry (unless you're Stephenie Meyer), and though writing is not likely to make you filthy rich or super famous, it will require certain things. For example, a fairly large amount of traveling at certain times. It would also require meeting deadlines and being accountable for contracts. In essence I would be choosing to become a working mom. Granted it would be the best working mom gig out there, but it would still be work. Now don't get me wrong, I grew up with a working mom and she was amazing! And I realize that writing from home is a whole different ball game than working a nine to five job. But the reality is that I would be adding one more thing to my life, one more obligation. And there would be good and bad consequences.
So I think what I've realized is that I need to know for sure that what I'm doing is right. That the sacrifices are worth it. I'm at the point now where I need to decide how to proceed because I know that once I make the decision I won't look back. I'll put all my heart and soul into what I choose and if that means never sleeping so that I can be a mom and a writer then that's what I'll do. But if I know what I want and that I made the right decision when times are tough or stressful, I'll have the assurance that I did the right thing.
It seems like every writer I've met so far knows what they want. They never seem to doubt it. I'm curious to know what some of your goals are.