Tuesday, December 8, 2009

After Yet Another Rejection Letter

Sometimes I ask myself why I write. Writing is the work I do during my precious hours not being 100% Mama, sandwiched between getting some exercise and doing tasks that cannot possibly be done with an energetic 3-year-old in tow, like visiting the dentist. Paying for twelve hours of childcare a week so that I can write (and do other sanity-preserving activities) is a huge investment for a family with very little extra money in the budget. Sometimes it feels like such an extravagance. I should use this time for something that pays real money right now, I think. Or at least something that provides a little validation, rather than just another fresh rejection letter curing on my desk.

How do we know when chasing a dream goes from inspiring to irresponsible?

Does it ever?

I sought out grantwriting gigs, and after many hours of trying, I got one. I made a little money. It felt good. I'd do another, if there were another to do. But I am impatient. I don't want to spend the precious hours chasing after work; I want to spend it writing. I have so many projects in the cue and on my desk. What I lack is not ideas or the drive to put them to paper - it's the time to delve deeply.

But whenever I question my choices, I end up back here: I know deep down that writing is my soul-work. No matter what else I do with my days, writing is not a choice; it is a necessity for my soul to be filled and fulfilled.

And then there is this quote from Joyce Maynard, via one of my favorite blogs Chookooloonks:

"It's not only children who grow. Parents do, too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can't tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it myself."

Having faith in myself and my writing, even during a run of rejection letters, is how I show Elan what it looks like to reach for the sun.

1 comment:

  1. That's a wonderful quote! I'm going to copy it down now.