It’s almost midnight, and I’m sitting in the dark with my laptop, music on and earbuds in, my husband falling asleep in bed next to me. This is what so much of my writing life has looked like over the past decade. I imagine this is what much of it will look like in the decades to come, too.
But of course, there have been changes over the years. Big ones. For example, my husband wasn’t always my husband, and we didn’t always live in this house, and hey, when did this baby monitor become a permanent fixture on my night stand? (Answer: about nine months ago.)
Sometimes it feels like I’ve always been looking for a better way. Looking ahead to a time where writing will rule the day, instead of sneaking in with the moonlight. I remember when I was a teenager, imagining how great it would be when I got to college and could specialize in writing, instead of having to spend so much time on homework for other subjects. And then in college, dreaming of graduation and life as a “real” adult, when I could work a mindless job just to pay the bills so I could focus on my novels. And then at work, wishing there were some way to quit my job and write full-time.
And then do you know what happened? I did quit my job to write full-time, and I still dreamed of a day when I would write more. More more more. Faster. Better. Quicker. Smarter. More.
To be honest, I don’t know if that desire will ever go away. But I try not to let it take over. Because if I pursue Faster Better Quicker Smarter More More More, I will never be able to rest. There is always more More.
Instead, I try to keep hold of something I discovered about two or three years into writing full-time: I can live the writing life that I want, right now. It doesn’t have to exist only in a faraway future. In fact, in some ways I’ve been living that writing life all along. [Read more…]