Tuesday, November 25, 2008


There are so many things in my life that I have to be thankful for. As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches I find myself a bit overwhelmed by just how lucky I am.

First and foremost, I am thankful to be surrounded by people who love me...really, truly love me. These people - my husband, my family (the whole great big extended lot of them!) and my friends - make my life rich with joy. Without them all the other things I have to be thankful for would be inconsequential. There are so many people in this world who don't feel really, truly loved, and I know I am lucky. For these people, I give thanks.

I don't think I'm the only person who has a roof over her head and a steady income who forgets those are things to be thankful for. There are many of us who have homes to live in, cars to drive, jobs to go to and food in the cupboard who treat those things like they are something everyone has. They are not. For an abundance of good fortune, I give thanks.

In this past year I have had one more very big thing to add to my list of things to be thankful for. I have had the opportunity to dedicate time to fulfilling the dream of becoming an author. Through the process I have discovered that there is absolutely no feeling like that of pursuing your dreams. I have also learned that published or not, famous or not, I am a writer. For the realization that being a writer is who I am and for the opportunity to pursue my dream, I give thanks.

To all those who come across this blog, I hope this post will cause you to pause, if only for a moment, and give thanks.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Writing at Expense to Your Sanity

A friend of mine recently found himself facing a tough decision. Does he continue to pursue the dream of being a successful published author or does he get out now and save what's left of his sanity? (You can read his recent post about his dilemma at http://chocolatefordogs.com/2008/11/18/choices-choices-choices/...an excellent blog by the way...I recommend you follow it if you're not already) It's a tough question really, and one I'm sure thousands of other writers are facing at this very moment.

It's certainly a question I've asked myself on more than one occasion. For me it's never a question of will I quit writing. I'm a writer in my soul. It is who I am. Expressing myself with words is my thing. I couldn't stop that if I tried. Pursuing it as a career is another thing altogether. It's brutal really. More brutal than I ever imagined it would be.

Creative people pour their hearts and souls into their work, whatever the medium. For those who find the courage - and believe me it takes courage - to try and get the world to see their work through their eyes, with the same passion and intensity they feel for it, the world can become a cold and lonely place. How is it that everyone you talk to does not see it? Does not get it like you do? Don't ask me...I don't know why.

What I do know is the struggle it creates in your heart when your creation doesn't fly off the shelves. For some of us, pouring your heart into a project is natural, easy almost. Marketing and selling it to others is a different game entirely. Getting your creation onto shelves is a battle in itself. Once you climb that hurdle you sigh a big sigh of relief. "There, I've done it. It's in the stores." Ha! If only it was that easy. Soon the reality sinks in as you see your creation collecting dust, hidden amongst the spines of thousands of other creative works.

At this point some might say that determination is the remaining factor that guides your fate. Fooey! I've got all the determination in the world, but I also have a full time job that pays my bills, a home to keep up, relationships to maintain. And I have to fight off the Dementor of my hopes and dreams...that dark hope sucking presence that weighs heavy on my heart and forces reality down my throat.

It is a process that can make you crazy. It forces you to make tough choices...financial choices, personal choices, professional choices...tough choices. So to my friend who posed the question all I can really say is this; follow your heart and hope that the rest will fall into place. Sometimes it's all you can do. And if the process really does make you crazy, then hope for some good drugs. And don't worry, I'll come visit you in the loony bin...I'm sure there'd be a good story in it.