I Can’t Be Four Things …from my journal

Posted: August 2, 2011 in Handwritten Chronicles, Teaching, Writing
Tags: ,

July 30, 2011

Today, I met [a friend] for lunch. I hadn’t seen her in about 2 years. A lot had changed in two years for her, so we had a lot to catch up on. I didn’t have nearly as much to share, but when I did, I told her something I didn’t even realize about myself before I said it. I said I’m currently happier than I’ve been for as long as I can remember. What a change, right? Even from just a week or two ago, when I was writing about depression. Well, here’s what changed: I started writing — really writing. Scheduled, 1,000 words a day writing. I love it. I’ve come alive. I’m me. I’m dancing around my house and singing praise songs to God. Well, I should be thorough and say that I started praying for deliverance from depression, and praying through the Psalms, before the Spirit prompted me to stop moping about and to get serious about writing. I feel connected to Him, like my story is His story, like I’m doing what I was made to do, and it’s a great experience. Problem is, July is traditionally my month for writing. Summer school is over, I get a lot of free time, and my typing fingers start flying. And then school starts. The thing is, I can be a writer, a wife, and a housekeeper. Or, I can be a teacher, a wife, and a housekeeper. I have not been able to successfully be all four. If I try, I fail and get depressed. If I drop the writing, I’m good at the other three, but I’m aching inside. Stephen King says, 

If God gives you something you can do, why in God’s name wouldn’t you do it? (On Writing, p. 147)

Because, Mr. King, I don’t know how to do it all. I can’t yet quit my day job — well, technically I don’t currently have one, but the plan is to find one — and I am not superwoman. I really don’t know how to do it, but I sure am afraid that I’ll desert Luke and Catie’s story the way I walked away from Josh and Leora’s last August. It terrifies me, actually, because I know I’m supposed to be writing, and I don’t want to give it up. But, August is traditionally my month for giving up. 



  1. macayla says:

    You need to struggle through figuring out how to write once you have a job, even if that means you’re writing 1,000 words a week (or even less). Focus on writing one great paragraph or one great conversation per week instead of 1,000 words per day.

    Honestly, you need to figure out how to reconcile this before you have babies, because they take up your brain, your creativity, your energy, your emotional resevoir, and your time infinitely more than a job. And ignoring them to go write is a bigger guilt trip and much more frustrating, demoralizing, and defeating. So, figure this out now (as in pre-babies, not this literal minute) or you will be more miserable and tortured than ever once little ones arrive.

    I couldn’t do it all either. I still can’t. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that if I’m going to write serious fiction (and not just blog about whatever), then I have to work with what I get: about one opportunity to write on the books per week that likely will be stolen from me by someone I love. I have to fight bitterness and resentment every single day. I also have to hold out the hope for the day when both kids are in school, and I have hours every single day to write. In 4 years, I will be counting down to the first day of school and I will rejoice when the little man is in kindergarten all day. Selfish? Yes. Terribly selfish. But I also know that my kids will have a much less crazy mom when that day arrives.

  2. I believe you can be all four. Even if you just gave yourself one or two hours a week – do it on a Saturday – you could still make progress while using the majority of your time on the things you HAVE to do. It’s not as much fun as spending all day doing it. But if would give you an outlet while letting you keep your priorities in order. I believe in you. 🙂

    But I’m so excited that you’re doing so well. I know the feeling. I think you’re a little more grounded than me. I tend to write to escape because when I stop writing I don’t always like where God has put in me life. So to ignore my circumstances, I flee to the pages of an imaginary world. But I love seeing that you’re doing well and writing and not feeling depressed. 🙂 That’s awesome.

  3. […] I Can’t Be Four Things …from my journal […]

  4. […] I Can’t Be Four Things …from my journal […]

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