Goals, Personal Stuff, Uncategorized, Writing

Doubts…Lots of them…

Wednesday night on Twitter the hashtag #keepgoing was making waves, giving authors and writers a chance to show where they were a year ago (or even further) and where they are now. A lot of people found in inspiring.

I found it depressing. And I tweeted this, and got a lot of great tweets back. Had some conversations that made me cry (both happy and sad) and left my mind whirling. Took me forever to fall asleep!

I’ve touched on my doubts in a few recent posts, but never fully explained everything. But, I feel like I need to get this out of my system, so grab some popcorn and read on to my word explosion.

I struggle with whether or not I can give writing what it needs to get published. I am not writing to write, I am writing to get published. And right now, I don’t get the time to devote to writing enough to feel like I’m moving forward. I feel like I’m treading water a lot…still wishing and hoping for more time, better words, finishing revisions.

But, most of all…I feel like I’m wasting time. I’m wasting time with my family. Instead of being with them, I’m writing. Or instead of watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix (our new obsession) with Brett, I’m revising (again).

This question is always on my mind: Is it worth missing all this for a dream that has a good percentage chance of never coming true?

I know a lot of my current mental state is exhaustion related. My 7-month old baby is still figuring out the whole sleep thing…we’ve gotten a few 5-hour stretches lately, but that’s a new thing. Otherwise, he’s been up at night. A lot. Meaning, I’m always, always tired. And my 4-year old has a lot of medical struggles so we’re at a lot of Dr appointments and are currently looking at possibly two surgeries by the end of this year. That takes a lot out of me, mentally and emotionally, leaving me bone-tired by the time they’re in bed. There isn’t much left over for writing.

My super wise friends Tameka and Jessica provided some amazing conversation that night on Twitter. Reminding me that dreams take time to achieve. Reminding me that my words are good. Reminding me that even in the lonely world of writing (because, so much of this takes place with fictional people and only with my computer) that there is support and people and success.

I need to give myself permission to WASTE TIME. I’m a go-getter. I’m a goal-oriented person. These are great skills at a desk job or in college, but put that in a creative arena without a clear guaranteed path to success…I SUCK. My nerves hate it.

But, I want to do this. I want people to meet Olive and Vi from The First Drop and I want the SNI in my mind to be written, for people to experience the lake in my hometown.

So, the next time Brett says – GO TO THE LIBRARY AND WRITE – I need to GIVE MYSELF PERMISSION to pursue this. After all, if Sammie or Emmett wanted to pursue writing or painting or some other dream…wouldn’t I support them and tell them to do it? Why not give myself that same support and cheerleading?

And, I originally said I wanted to give myself the 5 years I’ll be a SAHM to pursue this. I need to give myself that time. It’s not wasted if I’m having fun and making friends in the writing community, right?


10 thoughts on “Doubts…Lots of them…”

  1. Awww Jennie. I want to hug you and kiss you and stroke your pretty feathers and call you George. I won’t say you’re too hard on yourself because I do the same thing. I will say that this is a process. And you’re at step one wanting to jump to step 9. It will definitely take time but it will be worth it all in the end.

  2. I saw some of the back and forth you had on Twitter with Jessica and Tameka. I’m not a mom yet but I’ve had this conversation with other friends who are moms – it’s hard to give yourself permission to do something other than be a wife and mom. But you should! You’ll be a better wife and mom if you also take the time to do something for yourself. If you love to write, you should absolutely keep going!

    Maybe it would help if you put thoughts of publication on the back burner for now. Write because you love it. If you do that and keep working to be a better writer, there’s a really good chance your dreams will come true. And even if they don’t (though I really hope they do!) if you’re enjoying the process of writing, then it’s worth it. I worry that only writing for publication–something as you know, you can’t control–will continue to make you feel unhappy. Because there is no guarantee.

    I hope that makes sense. I’ve been feeling similar doubts, and plan to blog about it soon. It’s tough! But I’m trying to focus on the joy I feel *while* writing so I can be happy NOW, not just if/when I get published.


    1. It’s funny because if I was talking to someone saying what I’m saying, I’d absolutely be telling them to take time for themselves. It’s just getting those words through my own head! 🙂

      I think a lot of my focus on publication is because I’m revising. It seems more pub focused than initial drafting to me. I’m hoping to get this SNI plotted so I can return to drafting where I can focus more on falling in love with a story instead of hyper focusing on every single individual word. 😉

  3. You and I need to talk on the phone. Seriously. I’m a mom of two kids (I think you know this), one of which is actually 7 months old. I work full time as a high school teacher, too, so when I’m home, I am REALLY struggling with whether or not to spend time writing because the whole family? RARELY TOGETHER. And I think there is an immense amount of mom guilt A) on the best of days and B) especially on the days when you start wondering what in the world you’re doing with your life and why you can’t seem to move forward with housework or writing or whatever.

    OH, have I ever been there.

    So you may very well have a DM with my phone number in it at some point. Fair warning. 🙂

    1. You have a DM back! 🙂 And yes…the “is my writing going anywhere” thing is when I get most depressed. It’s when the whole process seems like such a silly dream, even though I REALLY do want to achieve it.

  4. I am not a Mom yet, so I don’t feel comfortable giving advice from that POV. But, I do know what it’s like to juggle different hats, be responsible for many things, & trying to find the time to achieve it all. It’s hard. Don’t beat yourself up for not getting it all done. You’re a GOOD Mom Jennie. And you’ve got an amazing passion for writing. Dreams don’t happen over night. Do give yourself permission to work towards those dreams. Sometimes you have to let go, stand back, let them simmer a bit, before you can jump back in. I’m always here if and when you need a cheerleader 🙂

    1. You are an AWESOME cheerleader G! And, I thank you big time for that! Letting things simmer is a good idea. I may do that and just focus on plotting out my CampNaNo attempt.

  5. One thing I’ve learned being a mom is that I have to put myself first. I don’t have a partner or someone who I can depend on unfailingly so if I could down, this whole ship will go down with me. You are an amazing person Jennie and a fabulous writer. Nothing happens overnight and you have to allow yourself the time to figure out your art and then get better at it! AND YOU WILL! I have nothing but the utmost faith and respect for you, you are one of my very favorite people and I feel honored to be a part of your writing journey in anyway! ❤

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