Saturday, April 5, 2008

Juggling Desires

I write and I create graphic art work. I've also been working since I was 18 years old. I'm tired of the 7:30 to 4:00 drudgery and am so wanting to retire, I can taste it like hot chocolate on my craving tongue. But alas, I have five years to at least early retirement. What does all this have to do with writing? I'm sure I'm not unlike most authors who, when embarking upon the great writing career, have hopes of becoming successful and famous enough to make writing the only thing they need to make a living. Who wouldn't want to work from home in jammies all day?

At 57, I am neither famous (not even well-known), nor able to make even enough royalty for a weekend dinner from my writing. I no longer have that burning passion or desire to burn down the doors of agents or big-time publishers in search of a lucrative contract that might propel me to the desires and expectations I once had. I've been through three disastrous contracts with publishers that were less than admirable and I will name them here: Justice House, Barclay Books and Bella Books.

So, what do you care if I'm stripping myself naked here in front of you? Well, on second thought, don't answer that. I'm at a crossroads where I wonder how many other authors might have come across or will come across. If you don't get what you expected, despite much work on your end, how prone are you to letting go of writing altogether and soul-search for something more fulfilling? I've been writing since the late 1960s. It was fun then. Today, I keep hearing the buzz words: "It's a business." Well, it might have been a business back then too, but it sure didn't feel like it. Mind you, I'm writing this simply through my own experiences. I never felt that writing back in the 60s and 70s was so cutthroat. Perhaps it was my own naivety. I was a beginning writer. What did I know?

I'm a graphic artist. I work for a photography studio and do Photoshop work. I've lately gotten freelance work doing book covers and am greatly enjoying the diversion. I haven't been writing as much. I like the instant gratification of creating a piece of art work in a day or two and presenting it to waiting publisher and author. I like it.

Juggling desires......Should writing be my mistress or my wife?

4 comments:

Anne Brooke said...

Mistress, definitely mistress. Make it fun, not obligatory.

:))

A
xxx

MJ said...

I'll not comment on you stripping in front of us. I'll simply keep smiling :)
I've only been writing a short while, but long enough to feel the frustration and disappointment even in acceptance. But I still cling to the dream that someday I'll be able to support myself with my writing, but even if I don't, I'll keep writing. I couldn't stop, even if I wanted to

Patty G. Henderson said...

The thing is, that I'm seriously flirting with giving up writing as my part time focus and take up graphic arts and photo retouching instead. I'm a professional in professional digital portrait retouching for 13 years and have also recently done some book covers as well. Can I give up writing? Maybe. Then again, perhaps it will torture my mind and spirit unmercifully and force me to return to it's always open and grasping arms. Oh, thou art cruel, my writing Muse....

MJ said...

Perhaps flirting is an appropriate word. Perhaps a dalliance with graphic arts really would send you back into the arms of your true love.
Or, as is so often the case in matters of the heart - you've been chasing that which isn't right for you and now you have met the right one and have the opportunity to find true happiness...
Not always an easy decision...