6.14.2011

I gave up the writing dream but it doesn't bother me

I was thinking about how there are some things I like to do, but can't do them due to the dwindling and dysfunctional radio business. It was really getting me down and disappointed. But then I remembered that I used to be obsessed with writing fiction and thought there was no way I was going to move on until I got published or achieved something.

I wrote a lot, finished a couple of novels, started on others. I took writing classes, created a writing group and website, met published authors, went to readings, read a lot, and asked lots of questions. It started before I created this blog and lasted for years, I think.

But after writing in this blog and other places online, I realized that I liked the immediacy of feedback and knowing that readers are there. And the fiction writing process isn't like that. Even if you're lucky to get an agent and a book deal, it's not released for months, and even then you don't know what the public thinks, or even if you'll have any readers at all.

And there are the months or years of writing and rewriting, and you might not ever finish the book anyway. Or you might put in so much effort to finish it, for it to amount to nothing. So you never find your audience, and the book sits in a drawer.

Well after I thought about all that, I moved on from that dream, and I was okay. I actually got some opportunities to help with non-fiction books and do online and other types of writing, for which I was paid. And I never missed not pursuing the fiction writing dream, and didn't regret my decision to give up.

So now I'm facing another dream that's not really becoming reality. And I'm wondering if I should move on, like I did with fiction writing. I might discover that there are other opportunities out there that I wouldn't have seen before because I've been focusing on one thing so intensely. Maybe I haven't seen the other opportunities around me. I'm not saying I'm going to quit, but I think I have to create emotional distance and lessen the intensity to see what else is out there.

2 comments:

Brigid Daull Brockway said...

I gave up theatre because it just working out. I felt like I was throwing my life away, or giving up on everything. I see the theater majors I went to school with, and although they all love their lives, I can't imagine that life.

mj said...

Since this post, I've managed to create the emotional distance, but it's hard to give up dreams. But sometimes we find other things where we can use our talents and we discover other outlets along the way.