Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Bad Thing About Loving What You Do

I've always thought it was ideal to love what you do. Isn't that the advice every career counselor, every Tom, Dick and Oprah, give? Find what you love to do, and then figure out how to make money doing it.

I love to write. How ideal could this be? (Other than getting paid for it, of course). I get to write at home, on my schedule, and still be home full time for my kids and husband. All the things I love most wrapped into one pretty package.

Except there are days I wished I loved writing a little less. And today was one of them.

My daughter's birthday is coming up, and today the grandparents came to take her out and I got a few hours in the afternoon to birthday gift shop. The idea was grand: go to the two stores that have the exact thing I know I want to get, be home in an hour and a half, and have the entire house to myself to write for a few hours. BLISS!

Except the first store didn't have the gift I wanted. Neither did the second. Or the third. Or a fourth. And by the fifth store I was incredibly frustrated because this is the only day I have to shop without my daughter, I have no gift, AND my time to write is slipping away. I felt like a child on the verge of a temper-tantrum standing in front of the shelf where the perfect gift should have been, stamping my foot and saying, "This is really cutting into my writing time! Now I'm going to end up with NONE!"

And how pathetically sad is that? Instead of enjoying the time to shop for something special, I was grumbling that I couldn't get back to work.

So I breathed deep, let it go, and accepted the fact that I wasn't going to get any writing in until the kids were in bed tonight. Goodbye record word day. Hello eeking out whatever I could manage.

I'm not sure that I wrote anything brilliant tonight. I am tired beyond belief. And I come again to the wall of faith: how much should God and Babs faith in him be central to this story? The funny thing is, Babs is dealing with this too. And so in writing I write the way she deals.... a tiny chunk at a time, and when it gets too much the conversation changes or someone walks in. I'm going with it. I hope it will work itself out, cause I really have no idea.

Word count tonight: 1,621


  1. Oh Heidi, I so understand! And sympathise...But have faith in yourself and your story...the right way will come to you.

    And about the faith thing? Put it in and see what comes out. Make it what it needs to be, otherwise you're not going to get anywhere. You can always edit later if it feels like too much. But go with your heart and Babs and let her tell her story.

  2. Thanks for your encouragement.

    I think the next day or two will be crucial. Which means they're gonna be hard. :)

    I'm looking forward to hitting that 40,000 word mark!

  3. I think we writers are one of the lucky few who get to grumble about not being able to work - that's how much we love the craft. I like the way your conflict re God and your character's conflict are intertwined. It seems like that will make the words all the more real, a good thing!

  4. All I can say is... I agree.

    You've got the work ethic and that's waht sets you apart from thousands of people who whine that they want to write a book but they just don't have tiiiiiime!

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  6. Time??? Who does have time to write?

    Besides Jen, who obviously has too much time on her hands since she has a clean house and clean laundry!

    Making the time to write, even when it is a struggle, makes me feel like a real writer though. And that feels goooooood!

  7. LOL Heidi, believe me I'd like to have the two kids. We're working on it, but having ... problems. (Hence bad medical news of the other day)

    Plus I'm basically a single person here during the week, which gives me a lot of time for ... writing.


  8. Don't I know it, Jen! You'll never find me complaining about the kids. I love 'em! They are worth every complication!

    And I would NEVER have said I thought you had time on your hands other than your post today, which was hilarious!

    You work full time... I have no idea how you do that and still write. I admire everyone who makes time to do this, cause it really doesn't fit easily into anyone's day!

    And don't worry... your time will come when you are juggling kids and writing, and you'll be thinking, "Did I actually write a book in four weeks once?"

    And we'll all be there holding the hardcover saying, "Yup! We were there for it!"