Happy Independence Day! We’re well and truly entrenched in July now, and I find myself in the middle of my fifth year of living in Switzerland. And even though it seems that America might be a dumpster fire behind a seedy downtown hotel that never changes it sheets, that hasn’t diminished the pride and gratitude I feel as an American. And it’s with the classic American spirit of hope depsite the odds, that I’m making rather exciting plans for the second half of this year.
I am such a perfectionist, and such a do-er (my sisters would call me an overachiever) that I forget to let myself and my work just be. I convince myself I am not doing enough, or I am not doing well enough. The merry-go-round in my brain just can’t let it rest. I’m either a terrible writer or I’m not giving my best. That kind of self-condemnation is destructive. And paralyzing.
What lands do separate –Nay, what words, indeed!For I know not that whichCan bridge the distance ‘tween. Stumbling tongues and soulsTwined round a similar reluctanceShadowed smiles and twinned sadnessReminiscence is a familiar friend Nostalgia trips along the lanes of soulShaking loose long-cherished joysAnd oft-mourned loss – I miss you!Must suffered silence be our cost? Hand clutch on guilty heartWhen fellowship is sunderedAnd I’m the one to blameFond farewells assuage nothing
Near the end of 2011, I sat down and sketched out my first rough idea for an urban fantasy novel. And as I enthusiastically brainstormed and developed ideas, a bitter voice in my head told me to stop, to give up, to throw the towel in and relinquish the dream of being a writer. “Better to give up than be known as a bad writer,” it told me.
This is a guest post I made for The Stay at Home Something, a blog written and curated by my good friend Brooke Gale Louvier. In it, I detail the struggle of being both a mom and writer. Often, it’s a dark and difficult path. But sometimes, once in a while, there are days when my soul sings. Image credits go to Brooke. Finding a Way to Make Your Soul Sing When you’re young, it seems that the whole world…
We have all heard the little nuggets of wisdom and read all the articles on how to be a good writer. We’re taught grammar and punctuation in school. We are even taught that good writing looks a certain way, such as Steinbeck, J.K. Rowling, Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Steven King, Shakespeare, or all the other great story tellers of grandeur. We are also somehow led to believe that bad writing takes the waif-like, substance-less forms of works like self-published ebooks of the dinosaur porn variety, or even mediocre fanfiction.