Do you ever sit down and analyze yourself?
Maybe not as frequently or as deeply as I should, but I do.
Usually it takes a 'life event' to make me look more closely at my motives for doing things. But lately, I'm asking myself if the thing I like to do in my spare time - my hobby, my pasttime, my passion - is worth the time I spend. And I wonder if there is value in hiding away, typing like my life depends on it. Some days I struggle to get words on the page, mostly on the days when I feel less than positive or feel a great deal of stress from the other aspects of my life. I mean, let's be realistic here, I'm married, I have four kids - three of whom still live at home, I have a fairly demanding full-time job, kids' activities, a home to take care of, and on and on and on.
And I end up asking myself, is it worth it? Am I any good at this? Am I neglecting other things in order to do it?
Why am I doing this?
So here's where I'm at right now.
My life is 'safe'. I have a good job. I'm still head-over-heals for my husband of 25 years. My kids are becoming young adults, and are doing pretty well so far. There are daily struggles, sure, but overall, things are good. In fact, if you ask my mother, I'm 'the stable one' of her five children (a topic for which many blog posts could be written).
My life is all earthtones. Like my living room.
Don't get me wrong. I love earth tones. I'm comfortable in earth tones. In some ways, I AM earth tones. (Terms like solid, dependable, detail-oriented come to mind - but I call myself OCD).
I like to be safe. I like to feel secure. And I want my kids to feel safe and secure, something I lacked at times growing up.
But there is a streak of bright crimson that runs through me, and I NEED to allow myself to let it out of my carefully protected self. I CRAVE the catharsis of writing words on a page, of telling a story, expressing my inner being in a way that I usually don't. I WANT other people to feel deep emotions when they read something I've written. I DESIRE a way to move others' souls.
Truth is, I want to create an impact like those I experience when I watch a deeply meaningful dance routine, listen to a beautifully phrased song, or look at a painting that touches a chord in my heart.
Singing is out of the question, and I gave up dancing a while back (other than for my own, or my family's amusement). John is the more artistic of the two of us, though he doesn't draw often.
Words are my creative outlet.
Writing is my release, my deep breath, if you will.
And I'm at the point where I realize that I will continue to write, whether I'm writing for myself, for my family, or for a broader audience some day.
I can't promise that I'll spend as much time each day as I have been. I've realized that in a few years my kids will be grown, they'll leave my carefully constructed nest. John and I will have much more time to ourselves, and I'm sure that I'll be able to write while he watches his favorite sports (which means I'll have a lot of time).
I'll never stop putting pen to paper - or more accurately, fingers to keyboard.
My season to pursue writing more furiously will come. In the meantime, I'll continue doing what I do - all of it, shifting focus to the adult market, rather than YA. It's more fitting for my voice, I know. (Teens aren't earth tones.)
Because it's impossible for me to give up the feeling of visualizing something and striving to translate it into words.
It would be folly to think I wouldn't burst if I never put another thought down on paper.
Writing is a part of me. A part I'm unwilling to give up.