I met with a new writer’s group for the first time last week. We drank wine, ate cheese, told stories, and read out loud. After just one meeting, I feel it is a wonderful thing. The three other women in the group are vibrant, funny, and wickedly smart. I feel lucky we met and I look forward to what the group will become, if it becomes anything at all.
As we introduced ourselves to one another and talked about our work and our goals, I was interested to learn how we all fit writing into our lives. Of course, it was different for each of us because we all had different commitments to writing. Some had projects they were very committed to and others were still exploring what they wanted to work on.
It came out that I work full time and write fiction on weeknights and weekends. Everyone asked how I did that. I just said, ‘If I don’t write it, it will never get written. And that’s not an option.’
Most of them said they were not at that point yet. They asked me how I got there. And I couldn’t answer them.
I say this, not to rub it in or make it sound like I’m some amazing workhorse (in fact, I don’t think I work hard enough) but because I can’t really describe how I reached that point.
I can tell you when. I know it to the day because it was my birthday. October 20, 2008. I walked into a novel-writing workshop and I just thought, I’m going to write a novel and it’s not an option to fail. And when I was finished with that one, I told myself, ‘I’m going to write another one’. And when people ask me what I am going to do after the second one, I say, ‘I’m going to write another one.’
So far, that’s just how it’s going to go. Who knows. Maybe that will change. Maybe I’ll hang up the towel. But right now, it’s a point of no return. I don’t know how I got here. I don’t know if it’s good, bad, crazy or all three. I just don’t see any other option.
Do you feel you’ve reached that point in your writing or is it more complicated than that?