Booking It, Part 10: Plateau
Writers and readers, sigh, I must admit this project is languishing. Perhaps my career as a writer with it. Perhaps my identity as a creative person, too…
For the last few months I have not been submitting work to publishers, or to magazines, nor editing my manuscripts, nor even doing much writing at all beyond the occasional social network status update or work email. Which saddens me, which makes writing to you that much more difficult.
I wonder, when do other writers with other careers and full lives do their daily writing? As my life has grown busier, as I share it with more beings other than myself, I don’t have huge blocks of time to write anymore. When I lived with my parents in sleepy Saginaw, Michigan, or lived in the attic of a Minnesota farmhouse, or even when I lived alone on a vineyard right here in Napa, it seemed like there was little else to do besides write. Much less edit, revise, and submit to publishers.
(Let me say, however, that while those situations gave me a lot of time to be creative, they were also so lonely.)
I think of a coach telling their team before the big game that they “have to want it.” And I do want it, Coach. I want to write—some days I’d say I need to write. And I want to be published. I just also want clean dishes and clothes, memorable trips, meaningful relationships, and sleep. Boy, do I want sleep.
I also think of a college professor, who made it his personal mission to drill into me that a career in poetry was not going to provide. I mean, I knew he was right at the time—which is why I forged another career that would satisfy and provide more than just a wage. I bring this up because at that time it felt like he was saying I had to choose between the things I wanted, an economy of scarcity, of mutual exclusion: be a poet and poor, or have money and be creatively dissatisfied. At the time I shrugged him off, refused to buy in to one or the other, and chose both.
And that’s what I need to manage to re-figure now. I can do both, I can do it all. There’s enough of me to share with all my loves.