To write or not to write?

I’ve always enjoyed the written word and have found that my thoughts spill on to the page at every opportunity. I love words. I have so many ideas. I enjoy writing creatively but I also simply enjoy the pleasure of putting ideas onto paper (or onto a screen). I’m not fussy about whether it’s fiction or non fiction. The whole process of crafting words onto a page is something I love to do. I’d like to think that I am reasonably good at it too.

But is that enough to justify my desire? Writing is my passion. It’s what makes me who I am, but is that enough I often ask myself? I’m quite happy to continue to carve out a freelance writing career that pays the bills. It still gives me a certain amount of creativity. But I want long term meaningful contracts rather than these bitty ‘odd jobs’ I see advertised all the time. Not that I think theres anything at all wrong with this kind of work, but it’s just not something that I can generate much enthusiasm for.

My secret (although for regular readers probably not that secret) is a desire to write fiction. But this is where my nagging self doubt creeps in. I am happy to create and pitch for non fiction work because it has a more immediate success rate and financial recompense. But writing fiction that may never be published. How can I possible justify spending a few hours each  day on an activity that has no definite end point or result? I would love to have the permission to write but I’m struggling to give it to myself. The paid work is enjoyable but time consuming. I want to be available for my children. I know it will be easier time wise when my youngest starts school, but can I make the leap? Can I dedicate a set time to writing each day or week when there is no clear ending?

I’ve always struggled with the competing battles of ‘the need to do what I think is sensible’ with ‘the need to do what I want’. They are never the same things. And when I do have the courage to go for what I want and feel, it usually turns out to be right in the sense that I make it work and it makes me happy. Maybe there’s the answer right there. As I write this down, perhaps the answer is to follow what I want and find the strength to believe it is also right.

The holiday we had over Easter threw up another unexpected little moment for me too with regards to blogging. I took time off from it and dipped in occasionally but nothing like I usually do. And I didn’t really miss it as much as I thought. It has prompted a re-valuation of the aspects of blogging that I enjoy-writing about my family and sharing with others. Reading other families experiences and being inspired, or consoled. Enjoying the shared moments of understanding. Those are the aspects that motivate me most and I must keep reminding myself of that every so often. I did briefly toy with the idea of giving up blogging but I think the things I enjoy are enough to outweigh the things I’m less keen on. But I figure it’s always good to stop and take stock every so often.

I know not everyone will understand this when I say it, but I do feel compelled to write. There is so much that goes on in my head that I feel almost suffocated if I don’t have the opportunity to write it down. Before blogging it was paper and print that gave me a release. Now it’s online mostly. I think I have to find a way to make it work. I’m just not sure exactly what the ‘how’, ‘when’ and ‘what’ will be. But at least I know the ‘who’ and ‘why’!