- by Geri Krotow
May and June are busy with cakes and gifts at my house. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, our wedding anniversary, my birthday and my husband’s birthday all fall within a 7 week window. This year add to the mix my navy husband’s retirement from the U.S. Navy after 27 years and my book launch.
It’s chaotic and can be exhausting whether I’m practicing any measure of sanity or not. Yet no matter how nutso it all gets, the end of June and then the long stretch of July and August will arrive.
And I’ll either be pleasantly on-track with my novel whose deadline is in the fall, or not.
I’m choosing to be sane so this means I need to write each day while I’m on the road next week. All great writing adventures–Book Expo America and a workshop gig later in the week.
But I must make my daily word count my priority. Not simple and even downright ugly (when I want to be sipping a cocktail with a friend instead of getting the words in before dinner).
Yet worth it when October rolls around and I want to go run in a pumpkin field and–gasp–I can! Because I’ve been plodding along through my story each day. Putting up with my characters and their foibles and victories each day. Making my vocation my priority. Each day.
A family friend we hadn’t seen in a very long time asked me “how is writing working out with your family schedule?” I shoved down a nervous giggle and dug into mind for one of those witty comments my writing friends have. Not a mean retort but one that conveys the gut-deep understanding that writing isn’t my choice of vocation.
Sure, I could choose to do other jobs (and I have) and I could even forsake the writing for a corporate position. I would if my family’s livelihood depended upon it (as it soon could, see navy retirement above). But the fact remains that I am a writer, I’ve always been a writer, and I always will be a writer.
Whether or not I do the work and put the stories and characters down on paper is my choice. How do I explain to a non-writer that the voices and scenes are always knocking around “in there,” and they only get louder as I ignore them? They play along much more nicely when I listen and allow them their space on the page. The stories come out more easily. Okay, with less difficulty.
I’m grateful that I’ve discerned my vocation–it took me 29 years to figure it out. Nearly two more decades to sell. I did it and continue to do it one day, one word, one deleted cliché at a time.