Seth Godin has pinpointed the horns of my dilemma. Of course, I would choose a life where I needed no escape. My life is much like many writers who have had day jobs, from Geoffrey Chaucer to Nathaniel Hawthorne, not that I belong in such august company. I am very good at my day job, but honestly, I tend to invest too much time and energy in it. There are months, or even years, where I do not have the energy for anything else.
However, I want to do more, and believe I have something to offer. Even so, I find it difficult to put my writing above other parts of my life. I feel selfish, and worry that my belief of something to offer is merely the figment of an inflated ego. I often think I should wait for retirement, but I also remember someone who worked for me once, and unwittingly gave me a lesson in waiting for dreams. For years, he had planned travel and other unfulfilled wishes he would accomplish once he was retired. Sadly, he passed away less than a month after his retirement, leaving so many unfulfilled dreams.
I believe I will make the leap of faith to write now. Dreams delayed often are often dreams unfulfilled.
I am the youngest of four children, raised in the old-fashioned Irish-American way. I suspect my mother encouraged me to write from an early age to keep me out of her hair, although she may have regretted the decision when my teachers began to call about the controversial stories I was writing. Thus I began my career of butting heads with the good sisters at my Catholic elementary school, and ended it by leaving high school for college with no diploma. I wear my high-school dropout badge rebelliously and proudly.
In college, I became fascinated with the Middle Ages, which was described as a “starry night” by one of my professors. So began a trek through languages and legends that informs my narrative non-fiction and historical fiction, as well as my blogs.
I love feedback and enjoy discussing ideas. I have an accountability blog for the Round of Words in Eighty Days entitled Leavekeeping; I write a blog on literary history, intellectual history, and the history of words entitled Lapidary Prose. I'm on Twitter and Facebook; my email is email@example.com.
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7 thoughts on “Escaping from life”
Good for you! Making the writing a priority _is_ hard for those of us who have a successful career in our day job. I made the leap about two years ago. My husband’s illness is the vivid reminder I had. Time is limited. Ergo, if writing and my husband are my priorities, other things had to give. I gave up my leadership position and I haven’t blogged in almost two years. I wish I had a finished piece of writing to show for it, but not yet. However, I do have to say my confidence and my skills as a writer have increased many times over. Choose the life you want, Elizabeth, and don’t look back.
Thank you for the encouragement, Lynette. I had a close call in October 2013, ending up in the ICU for several days, followed by my brother’s passing in December and my mother’s the following April. I think I had let those lessons get away from me, but it helps to hear your perspective.
It’s great that you are learning and writing, following your dreams.
Do it. Tomorrow is never guaranteed, so you have to find time and energy every day to do what you love. It’s simple, but it’s definitely not easy.
Thank you, Lindsey. It helps to hear from someone who is successful that it isn’t easy for them. It gives me hope.
I really know that feeling right now! Elizabeth, just a heads up that I have moved my blog address to a cheaper, more migraine-friendly address. You are very welcome to join me there. I will do my utmost to get back here and support you as often as I can.
Keep ROWing and writing!
I’m glad you’ve moved to a site that doesn’t trigger your migraines as much, Cate. I appreciate your support, and will definitely find you at the new digs.
I have been wanting to get back to my memoir, as well as my novel. Thanks for the encouragement.
I have a heap of memoir posts over here. There will be something to inspire you… plus more to come this year as it’s the 15th anniversary of me teaching memoir.
If you need a hand, come calling.