Monday, March 10, 2008

Lovin' It.

Snow melted. I shoveled half the driveway and left. My foot is SO not happy about it. Mostly my foot has adapted to walking, going up and down stairs, and doing the minimal stuff. It has not adapted to exercise or shoveling. The pain doesn't bother me at all. What bothers me is the reminder that I can't do something I love, because I can't seem to get the damn thing fixed. And every time it swells up, I feel like a failure. I'm not sure what else I can do about it except throw more money at it, but, heck, feelings are not rational things.

Ah well.

I reconnected with an old writer friend today. Okay, my first writing friend. Really, my closest writing friend. She's a brilliant writer, and I love her stuff, but she stopped writing a few years back. In my tiny world, you gotta write fast if you want to pay the bills.

She got burnt out. Sad, again, because I love her stuff.

In her email, she warned me away from letting myself get burnt out, too. And it was some surprise to me that I realized how much I love it. I realized that I could never get burnt out. Partly because I've learned the warning signs, learned the pitfalls and stuff.

And, like I said before, I've completely separated the act of writing with all the business junk, waiting for checks, and career planning. Smartest thing I ever did.

Mostly, though, I was surprised because writing was never in the grand plan. It's this other thing I do. I always say that it seduced me, and it's true. So sometimes I look around and am shocked at how much time I spend at this writing thing. I'm shocked at how much peace it gives me. I'm surprised at what a part of my life it is, how much time I put into improving and reading and planning.

It's a lover I've grown quite protective of, actually. No, I will not let the business muck it up, and I will not let anyone hurt it, not even myself.

Writing isn't the same thing as that first time I penned a story. I remember toying with a sentence for hours, literally grinning at the screen as I considered the different nuances of choosing one word over another.

It's not first love anymore, but it's a deeper love. And still, somehow, everyday it surprises me. It shows me yet another reason why I love it.

I don't love music less, or teaching less. I just failed to protect what I love from the business of it. It's improving, though.

So how has your relationship with writing changed over the years?

8 bonus scribbles:

Therese 3/10/2008 09:55:00 AM  

How has my relationship with writing changed? Well, now I believe I can do it!

I agree with your philosophy of keeping the business end of things from infecting the love of writing.

StarvingWriteNow 3/10/2008 09:57:00 AM  

Hope all is well out your way, dear! Too bad they closed Borders right after you got there--no fun! I was a shoveling fool yesterday but only got a big enough space in the drive for my car. Oy--But on the bright side, I"m moving on Friday!

Edie 3/10/2008 03:58:00 PM  

So sorry about your foot. I was hoping it was better. :(

A friend who was a great writer quit, and I never understood it. Yes, the business end sucks and is stressful, but doesn't it suck and have stress in so many jobs?

Ello 3/10/2008 06:09:00 PM  

Interesting. What made her burn out? Just curious.

spyscribbler 3/10/2008 07:45:00 PM  

Therese, that's awesome! And look, you can! You're a bestseller! HUGE congratulations!!!

spyscribbler 3/10/2008 07:45:00 PM  

Writenow, I'm so thrilled that you're moving! Good luck with the move. I'll be thinking of you!

spyscribbler 3/10/2008 07:45:00 PM  

Edie, I've had it up to here with the foot, ^%$#$#%$%. Thanks for the hopes! I was hoping, too.

Yes, I think it does. But I also think that there are some jobs that match us, and that make the stress worth it. And some, where it's just not.

I nearly let the business kill my love for teaching. I'm trying to get it back, but ... it's easily done. Even for something you're good at, something you love.

spyscribbler 3/10/2008 07:46:00 PM  

Ello, she was writing full-time. Given our little niche, she was writing nearly 80,000 - 100,000 words a month to pay the bills. It did pay her bills, but that's a lot of pressure. We're not talking about 80,000 - 100,000 words, then edit. We're talking about 80,000 - 100,000 words of saleable, polished, ready-to-go stories.