Sunday, February 25, 2007

Writer In Crisis

I made the comment years ago that trying to get published was a lot more fun than being published. I spoke from experience, limited though it was. Years later, watching my multi-published friends, I haven't changed my mind. They sign 3 or 5-book contracts, and gripe like heck because they're so busy writing and promoting. When that contract is up, they sign another one and then another one. All the while, their agent is trying to garner even more contracts with other publishers.
What part of this picture seems fun?
If Murphy's Law kicks in they're guaranteed to be writing during Thanksgiving and Christmas, therefore being stressed during the holidays. Aren't holidays stressful enough?
Good sense tells us we should seriously pray about accepting those multiple contracts--for our own good. For the good of our family. But somehow we don't pray, we grab that contract and run!
I wonder how much family-time we're willing to sacrifice to achieve our dreams? Husband and kids are proud to share in the book signings for that first book, and maybe the second, but how must they feel when that third and fourth and fifth book comes around and we miss soccer games, Christmas plays, birthdays because we have signings or we're on deadline? Do they truly understand why we fly across the country to attend a 4-day conference? Do they comprehend the importance of keeping our name out there, the necessary networking?
Our writer's mind is constantly spinning with all we have to do and all we have to write, not to mention all we want to write.
Who's gaining?
Who's on the losing end?
In my mind's eye, I stand in the shoes of my multi-published friends and wonder if I really want what they have. A side of me says no. Another side of me yearns for it. I'm working toward it. I'm fantasizing about it. But I'm scared. Fear of failure, yet fear of success. What will I have to sacrifice? Am I prepared?

"Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts." ~Psalm 90:12

1 comment:

Christa said...

None of that seems as stressful to me as what I'm doing, and mostly not successfully, now. I feel like I'm juggling job, writing, family--oh, yes, and God---and not very well. While I know being a multi-pub could bring its own stress, it's MY stress--not students, papers to grade, lessons to plan, parents to pacify, blah blah. Wait--this wasn't
about me! You are such a balanced person; I know that your husband and daughter would quickly yank you back to reality if you strayed too far. YOU CAN DO IT!