I have just spent a lovely few hours this afternoon with my friend A-mother-of-N, and little N. They live on the opposite side of London so we catch up on alternate ‘sides’ once every couple of months or so. Anyway, we were chatting today about how much life has changed for us both, particularly for me in the last 9 months, the challenges we have faced and the little victories we’ve celebrated.
One of the things we spoke about was my writing. I will have been writing my blog for 3 years next month but it’s only been in the last 9 months, I’ve started to consider where it all might lead. I’ve ‘guest-posted’ a couple of times and been acknowledged by generous fellow bloggers (you know who you are – and for everyone else, you can find them on my blog roll) but am now starting to get encouragement from outside the blogosphere with family and friends commenting ‘how well I write’.
Recently I started writing for weekendnotes, my first ‘paid’ gig depending on how many articles I submit and how many subscribers and page views I get. I have just submitted my second article for publishing today. (My first, about my visit to the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising, which I have also blogged about, was published last Monday.) I love London. I love writing. It seems a match made in Heaven.
But I feel…hesitant.
You see, I am completely besotted with writing. Even more so than when I was in high school (high school, not secondary – now that ages me!). Some days I write what I see, hear, experience in the small things. Other days it just seems that I can’t help but put my heart on the page. It’s a joyful feeling, sometimes emotional, but always satisfying. An expression of my creativity and passion that feels both cathartic and right in its current proportion.
And that’s the thing – the balance. I also love my work. It’s commercial and fast-paced and dynamic and I’m part of a team – and it’s a big part of me as well. And right now, the two things together feel balanced and right. Yet I can’t help asking myself, could I still do both if I wrote more? Could I keep managing the balance or would there come a tipping point, where the single, albeit dual purpose, path may naturally divide and I find myself standing at a fork in the road?
One of my favourite poem’s of all time is The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. There’s a line in it ‘yet knowing how way leads on to way’. I feel like that now. I am desperate not to lose the joy I have rediscovered in writing but suspect that life will take me down the road that it will.
I will just have to be brave enough to keep my heart and mind open to whatever happens next.
Linda, my sister (Lil Chicky) gave me pretty much the same response – it doesn't have to be either/or – just so long as I love it.
Amd thanks for your mini-review too. I started this as a bit of an everyday moments things for family and friends in Oz and it's really lovely to hear/read that other people enjoy my brand of 'heart/life/mishaps' on a page as well.
Firstly Charlie, sorry for being so slack about responding (how rude of me when you made the effort 'n' all!)
It's funny isn't it that once you start, all of a sudden everything you see/hear/experience becomes fodder for one's next literary expose.
Thanks for the words of encouragement/advice.
What they said.
Seriously, it doesn't have to be either/or. And if it ever does reach that point, it will be because you've subconsciously brought yourself there.
The mix of 'I see/hear/do' and the more introspective is wonderful. We enjoy it all – your sharp-eyed humor, Aussie spunk (now there's a fun word) and your heartfelt musings. So keep on writing, especially those things that you feel invisibly driven to write. We'll be here reading.
And congrats on your article!
Well done on getting your review up. Have to agree with Jane, until you're all written out, the ideas and urge won't go away.
Ah thanks Jane. I marvel sometimes at the dichotomy within…the free spirit who wants to chase the dream and the pragmatist who points out the pitfalls! The debate between them rages on…
'Could I still do both if I wrote more?' Absolutely!
Your job is what you do to live and earn a paycheck – the fact you enjoy it so much is a bonus. You also love being part of a team and interacting with people.
Writing is something completely different.
Writing is something you HAVE to do, it's as important as breathing. It's also solitary, frustrating and brings all your fears and self doubt to the surface.
You have the balance right but something inside is pushing you on, go with that gut feeling.
When/if you get to the fork in the road the decision may not be as tough as you think!
GO FOR IT!