Since taking the plunge on submitting my work to various calls in November 2018, I have made 5 submissions. That is an average of just over 1 a month. The first time I did 2 was in February. I have plans to submit 2 in March. I already know where they are going, I just have to decide between 3 stories on which to tweak and tweak again and then to submit.
I find that I am beating myself up about the number of stories I write and send in. It doesn’t feel like enough. Albeit, I do work a full time job, have over an hour commute one way, so over 2 hours in the car each and every day and I am currently taking 2 creative writing courses this semester. Plus I’m married with two fur-balls to take care of, housework and errands to do and somewhere in there, a life to lead. It still feels like I’m slacking.
I guess it’s just the nature of my internal beast.
For the most part, I have loved the jobs I’ve held during my career. I’ve worked in both Finance and IT (usually at the same time, in one way or another) and they are both fields that keep you busy and on your toes. Overtime is just a way of life and rarely have I ever begrudged that. I LOVE a challenge and the only times I’ve become restless are when I don’t have enough to do. Or, more accurately, more than enough to do.
Creative writing is a different world entirely. It cannot be rushed. You can’t force ideas to come. You can’t hurry up and get a project written, it comes in it’s own time. I actually relish the fact that it forces me to slow down. I thoroughly enjoy the process from beginning to end and I don’t ever want to jeopardize that. Some of my favourite authors have suffered from the publish or perish syndrome. They start out writing one or two novels a year and then with the pressures from agents, publishing companies, fans and the almighty dollar, have taken to publishing 4 or more times per year. Undeniably, their writing suffers because of this.
I don’t want that. All I want is to write. If it’s all for myself, so be it. I really have no desire to be a truly famous author, it seems to me that too often your life is never your own after that.
I just have to learn that this writing thing should never be akin to the other jobs I’ve held. I need to take my time and just enjoy it. The only pressures I’ve had to write come from my own making. I guess I just need to learn how to lighten up a little.