Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Edge of Almost - IWSG

Insecure Writer's Support Group: Every first Wednesday of the month, we gather together to heap some extra joy on the glad tidings, and offer a pillow of support for the not-so-good that may be happening. Because let's face it, being a writer has its sucky moments. Thanks to Ninja Captain Alex Cavanaugh for first putting this together and for this month's helpful minions - erm - co-hosts for the July 3 posting of the IWSG: Nancy Thompson, Mark Koopmans, and Heather Gardner!

So what do I have to share for today?

Well, I wish I could be in that first group with good news of great things. Honestly, I got a few rejections for something I'm working on and took the rejections well. I ate sherbet instead of Rocky Road ice cream #wellhandled :-)

But it is the edge of almost that I nearly leaped from.

I ALMOST stopped writing completely.

Not a moment of writer's block, not a lack of story ideas (good grief the shiny ideas are all over the place and other MS's are still narrowing their eyes at me with a hint of impatience).

No.

I had a moment of tearful discussion with my Chipmunk. She's been very supportive of me and really excited for me but I think the extra time I spent with her during my brief respite from the web got her accustomed to me being with her much more often. Coming back to being active - though not like before - was a harder thing for her to adjust to.

I shut my computer off and explained to her that my passion for writing is strong, it runs deep and I love it.
But I. Love.Her. More.

She's my kid and I love her. I really do. If my writing were to become less of a follow-your-dream-example and more of a strain-on-our-mother-daughter-relationship, I would leap from the edge of almost.

That time is not now. It may not come. I'm not really sure what the future holds, though I have fantasies of what I wished it held (#toomanytolist)

I'm still writing. And she's eager to get involved with the PB stuff I hope to get into. But it's kind of weird knowing it all came to a head.

*Just a note: if I would have stopped writing, it would've been to stop writing toward publication. Too many characters and stories in my head to never write again lol!

Have you had a sort of crossroads moment? How did you handle it?

47 comments:

  1. Been there and I've got the t-shirt to prove it. :o)

    I don't think you can stop writing, but it's perfectly legitimate (and noble) to limit the time you spend on it.

    There's something about a child imploring you to spend more time with them that cuts you to the bone. Spouses and lovers can fend for themselves, but kids are kids only for a short while.

    I know you'll find your comfort zone for you and Chipmunk.

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    1. It's been a bit of a yo-yo effect around the house. Some evenings she's perfectly understandable. Other evenings, I have to adjust. Maybe this is my introduction to the early tween years lol!

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  2. I can so relate. Life is so busy and there are so many other demands pulling at me that sometimes I wonder why I keep at this unpaid part-time job. Your time with Chipmunk is precious. I've sacrificed a lot of my writing time to do things that are important for my daughter, like being involved in PTO and her time consuming swimming. I don't regret that my writing career is slower because I know the time with her will change soon (2 years) when she goes to college and then I'll have so much more time for the writing. So maybe don't ever consider quitting but realize your balance may have to change to give more time for Chipmunk.

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    1. I couldn't agree with you more, Natalie :-)

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  3. Never been there, and I hope I don't. Your Chipmunk is precious and you're right to make your call. Your fans will hope you keep writing, tho :)

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    1. I've got so many stories in my head lol! I hope my fan base can grow as I write more and publish more :-)

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  4. I go through this with the Sweetman.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

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    1. Hugs and chocolate to you, Shelly. Writing can be quite the demanding path...but I do love it so. And I love Chipmunk more. Balance is what it will come down to.

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  5. Two moments where I almost closed up my blog and quit the publishing game:

    1. An editor turned down 2 manuscripts at once and told me my work was unmarketable.

    2. An agent turned me down because of an open option clause with the editor in #1 and said that no agent was going to take me when I was obligated to send all manuscripts to an editor who didn't want them.

    It is a DARN good thing I didn't give up then, although I wanted to. A couple months later, I found an agent who vanquished the option clause in #2 with a couple phone calls and then promptly sold one of the books that was rejected in #1.

    I'm glad Chipmunk wants you to keep going, and if she gets invested in your PB projects, she will be your biggest supporter.

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    1. Oh, Dianne. I can't imagine what you must have felt in either of those situations. I'm glad you kept striving forward. It's a selfish thought as a reader but we get to benefit by reading your great writing.

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  6. Oh I know what you mean, Angela. Sometimes I take my time off computer and internet to spend more time with my Kiddies. One day my daughter asked why I spend so much time on the comp--I was on a "between a rock and a hard place" kind of deadline. I explained to her, but after that, turned everything off for some quality time with both of them. Not easy when juggling work, writing and our loved ones. :) *hugs**

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    1. Somehow you'll find the balance to follow your dream and spend time with Chipmunk. It will happen. Keep your chin up, Hun!! :D

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    2. I'm learning more and more how important it is to turn the computer off or to do something with her first before hopping on the computer.

      I'll keep dreaming, writing, self-pubbing and maybe, one day, have something published through a small press or big 6 publisher.

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  7. I have had crossroads moments but there was never a doubt I need to write. And blog. I may have to put writing on hold for a few days, weeks, or months. But I know I will always come back to it regardless of the crossroads.

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    1. I hear you, Stephen. Writing isn't like a part of me, it IS a part of me.

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  8. I had a crossroads moment years ago after a conference. Someone gave a tough love speech saying to give yourself a time limit when trying to write for publication, say, ten years. After that, keep writing, but stop hoping for publication.

    I bought into a it for a little while. I could see the allure of not putting myself through the pain of submission and rejection. But the idea of ceasing to hope ceased to appeal. I'm glad I stuck with it.

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    1. Sometimes, tough love is given from the heart with the best of intentions, but may not be the best way to deliver things in some cases. Telling you to squash your dreams of pubbing after a certain number of years is harsh, and for some, a huge push, but publishing isn't something to give up on, especially with the avenues available. I, for one, am glad you persisted.

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  9. That is the hardest crossroad for a writer, probably for anyone building their career. Parenthood...I've struggled a lot with this one, since I committed to writing professionally four years ago. My hubs works a ton, because of his job, so most of the kid-care came from me and me alone. I won't go into more details, but just know that you are not alone. Keep at it. Talk to others who understand. Most importantly, kiss her Chipmunk and include her as often as you can. (Oh...I'd brainstorm with my kiddos sometimes. They always like that.)

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    1. Even though you're married, you have to handle kid-care in a sort of single mom way as I do. So yeah - parenthood in the mix can be a difficulty.
      I'm hoping that by adding her in, she'll feel more a part of things.

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  10. I have those sort of crossroad moments -- all too often. Not sure if I handle them well or not, but I do keep writing.

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    1. Hear you there, farawayeyes. Not sure if I'm handling all that well sometimes lol! Just keep writing :-)

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  11. You have to balance it out with time spent with your daughter. She is important.
    I have hit the crossroads and still undecided between music and writing.

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    1. You have two passions vying for your attention. So understandable.

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  12. I'm sorry you got those rejections! I'm glad you were able to get back to your writing for now, and I admire that you always put your daughter first. It's sad that there are too many parents who don't do that and their children end up suffering for it. Your chipmunk obviously means the world to you and that's awesome. :)

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    1. I have a feeling I deserved the rejections. So back to the cleaning board to make things the tiniest bit better :-)

      It saddens me too that children suffer for their parents setting them aside, but I pray to not be such a parent, thus I keep an eye on my mother/daughter relationship.

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  13. There are always going to be those times when your kids need that extra attention, whether you're writing or not. But I know you have to write, Angela. Just take your time and don't put so much pressure on yourself to produce. And of course Chipmunk comes first, you'll just need to manage your time differently when she wants more time.

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    1. lol! I'm giggling because I can recall putting sooo much pressure on myself as a kid growing up. I had to be on the honor roll. I had to have perfect grades. I had to excel even when my playing field was far from even. So I guess it's a bad habit to break.

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  14. I get the crossroads. I have a sneaking suspicion either road will be fine. That comforts me.

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    1. That's a pretty positive way to look at things as well :-)

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  15. Rejections do make us doubt whether we're travelling down the right road, but we get past that if its what we're intended to do. Even if I wanted to, I don't think I could stop writing.

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    1. I have a feeling I may be one of those writers with the, "I got rejected this many (dozens and dozens of) times. I just hope it will be an experience I come out better for, whether the rejects lead to a Yes or to a different choice.

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  16. Glad Chipmunk's there for extra support. Like Dory says 'just keep swimming'. Best of luck Angela.

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    1. Yeah. She's a trooper. I smile just thinking about her :-)

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  17. I totally get it, Angela. It's called "mommy guilt". I have it and so do many of my author friends. But we don't need to choose one thing over the other. The beauty of this business is that you can still write part time and be a full-time Mom - until your daughter needs you less and steers more in the direction of independence. Hang in there and never give up on your dreams. You never know what awaits around that corner.

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  18. Aww... you're such a good mother. :)

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  19. Good moms are better than pudding. You are a good mom. Really.

    Don't be discourage. Okay... be discouraged, but only for a short time, then move on.

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    1. :-) That's cool. Get the moment out of my system then upward and onward!

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  20. Writing for me is an addiction. There've been times I've wanted to stop, but I always go back. I think I've been through that cycle enough times now that I won't do it again...I'll just keep writing. P.S. Kids are wonderful. :)

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    1. Kids ARE tremendous additions to life. And it's helpful knowing so many other authors have dealt with various crossroads of their own.

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  21. Make sure your Chipmunk knows she comes first then just keep adjusting your time together. You'll find the right balance.

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    1. You're right LD. I definitely want her to know she's first in my life :-) Adjust and learn to balance...that's the path before me.

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  22. Oh my gosh. I just lost connection in the middle of typing my very profound comment. I can't recall half of what I said. But the gist of it went a little something like this... As your Chipmunk grows her needs will change, meshing with your needs. If writing was meant to be in your life, it'll be. ;) (not nearly as profound the 1st time I wrote it!) My girls are much older than Chipmunk, but I remember those feelings. Trust me when I say, things change. They evolve. It'll get better.

    And, I'm so thrilled about your PB project. When you're ready for a bit of critiquing, let me know. I'd love to help out. :)

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    1. The comment that made it is quite profound dear Candilynn. Would it seem odd if I told you I would to have you critique my foray into PB writing but I didn't want to be a burden? I've always felt this way whenever I ask for someone to read my work. Something else for me to continue working on, though I have gotten a bit bolder with pursuing my writing career.

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  23. I think we all have crossroad moments from time to time, and it's only natural to doubt ourselves and our commitment to life outside of writing. Sometimes that means taking a break and re-focusing our energies on other people, such as our families. But it doesn't mean we have to or should give up.

    You're are an awesome mother and a talented writer. You can have both!

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  24. I've definitely had those, and it's tough to keep all the time commitments straight. I feel like I haven't been spending as much time with my blog, but then I've been spending more time with my kids this summer and I needed to . . .and my writing, well, it's going in bits and pieces at this point.

    Way to go making it through the crossroads. Hug that chipmunk. :)

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