Wednesday, December 14, 2005

stalled in indecision

I can pick a paint for my walls in less than 5 minutes, can move to a new city/country without hesitation. I have perfected the shopping technique of a 10 minute dash-in, try-on, purchase, and leave. But there is one decision I just can't seem to make. I go 'round and 'round in circles and yet always end up at the same point of indecision.

A few years ago I made a big, scary decision to quit my job as a communications manager for a national arts organization and dedicate myself to writing. It took awhile to make that choice, but once I had, I didn't expect to have to make again. And again. And again.

Virginia Woolf is remembered for having written that a woman needs a room of her own in which to write. But she also said she needs an income of her own. This is the constant struggle of being a writer. I have a room of my own, but I continually lack the means to sustain myself in this room. I need to work to earn enough to keep body and soul together - and here comes the choice again and again. Do I go back to the kind of office work that would provide me with a decent living, yet deprive me of the time and energy to write. Or do I continue to scrape together a living on jobs that offer me the time to write, but leave me short at the end of the month.

I finished my book almost a year ago. It still is not published. The discouragement of rejection time and again has sapped my energy to begin another. I decided to concentrate on shorter works of fiction. But these have only served to add to my dejection as I get rejections for them as well.

The question that keeps me awake night after night: if I don't have what it takes to be a writer, should I really cling to this starving artist identity? Should I not just go out and get a real job, a job which utilizes and rewards my professional skills?

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with desire to achieve more, to be more. Other times I feel overwhelmed by discouragement. How can I have such lofty aspirations and yet struggle just to get my feet off the ground?

It is becoming harder to find the discipline to write when deep down I doubt the value and worth of what I write.

There. I've said it. No rant today, just an honest piece of me and my uncertainty.

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