If I stopped writing...
1. I'd be much more likely to say what I really think of people to their faces, rather than just write it down, which means I'd probably get head-butted a lot more often.
2. I'd start posting pictures of my lunch or my outfits on Instagram, because everyone knows that those pictures are so fascinating (it's like, can we have MORE selfies, please?).
3. The fictional characters I already created would probably haunt my dreams and say stuff like, "You owe us endings to our stories. If you don't write one for us, we will give you nightmares filled with the things that freak you out the most, including clowns, knives, and one of the Kardashians as President (in that case, posting selfies would become mandatory, and anyone who broke that law would have to buy and read all 448 pages of Kim Kardashian's book of selfies)."
4. I'd stop going to book signings, because I'd feel jealous of the writers who never stopped pursuing their dreams like I did.
5. I'd read less, which would mean I'd have more time to "like" Instagram posts by reality show celebrities and read articles about their Twitter feuds, which would cause my brain cells to die, one by one.
6. I'd look at my journal longingly, similar to the way I look at cupcakes in a bakery or the muscular gay men dancing on floats in Chicago's Pride Parade.
7. I'd always feel like something was missing from my life.
8. I wouldn't communicate with all of you nice people in the blogosphere, who have been very kind and supportive to me through the years.
9. I wouldn't feel that same sense of pleasure I feel when I sit down to write, or when the story heads in a different direction that I wasn't expecting.
For a while now I've actually contemplated giving up writing. This past year has been really busy, what with my full-time job and my part-time job, which is why I haven't blogged as much in the past several months. To be honest, other than journal entries, blog posts, and Tweets, I haven't written anything (other than stuff for work) in months. It made me wonder if maybe I'd lost my writer's "mojo," and it also made me doubt that I had it at all.
I even thought about giving up my blog and my Twitter page. Some people get fifty responses (or hundreds) on their blog posts, whereas I'm lucky if a more than a few dozen actually read my blog posts one at a time, even though I've been blogging for six years now. I have more Twitter followers than blog followers, but more often than not, the people who follow my blog immediately send me DMs asking me to check out or promote their album/book/film/GoFundMe page, which tells me why they're really following me (I never respond to their DMs, nor do I do what they ask).
But if I gave up writing, then I truly would be a workaholic, one hundred percent. I've finally realized that there has to be more to life than work, and writing fiction and creative nonfiction is the one thing that doesn't feel like work to me. Even when it does, it's still something that I want to do, not something that I have to do to pay the bills.
So for now, I'm not giving up writing, though I do have to accept that I may have to wait until summer to spend more time on it. I gave up or lost almost everything else that mattered because of my work. I'm not willing to let my work destroy the one thing I have left.
What about you? Have you ever felt tempted to give up writing?
Interview with… Adam Byatt - Today it’s the turn of Adam Byatt to sit down and share his writing with us. This is my 13th interview, and there are still some wonderful authors to come!...
1 week ago