How’s work going?

dad builds his dock again after the hurricane
dad builds his dock again after the hurricane

How hard are you willing to work to be published? What do you give up to write or make art? Do you lose sleep? Give up TV? If you’re not giving up anything, do you think you should?

12 thoughts on “How’s work going?

    1. Don’t think. Just know that you do and trust it’ll be there. Build a ladder, jump, crawl, but bit by bit work your way out. Time passes whether you’re trying or not, y’know? Yes, you do!

  1. Does peace of mind count? Because I gave that up for a while. Also, I’m putting off getting a job to try writing full time. I go through spurts of giving up tv time and play time. I always feel I should give up more.

  2. Look at it this way, Marta: It isn’t what you may or may not be giving up in order to write, it’s what you get from writing and making art that you don’t get from anything else, which is to say it is what you get from you. I suppose I could go around calculating what I might get from watching a rerun of Gunga Din on Turner Movie Classics and then compare it with what I’d get from reading your work and accordingly assign ratings to each. But that sort of calculus would make me a funnier person than I already am. Besides, I already know how Gunga Din ends.

  3. I know that I need to spend time pursuing creative things or I’ll be miserable. So it’s not about giving up anything. It’s about how I spend my time. If I start wasting it, then I feel grumpy, and I need to get back on track. The one thing I would never give up is family because I think if I became the most successful writer in the world & if I didn’t have loved ones to share my success with, what would it mean then? Nothing. So I try to strike a balance between my family and my creative pursuits. When I manage that, I feel pretty good whether or not I’m accomplishing much on the career end.

    I guess I never give up sleep either….simply because I cannot function without a lot of sleep. I have often wished I was someone who could manage with less sleep, especially when I was working full-time. I really didn’t have much time for creative things then because I was always so exhausted. And I was depressed as hell too.

    I used to feel more angst about not getting published, but somehow I’ve gotten beyond that. Maybe just finally realizing that it’s not the only thing that might make me happy. Or realizing that I just don’t want to spend all my energy worrying about it anymore.

  4. Well, there are limits, I admit. Wouldn’t give up, y’know, family. In a “Sophie’s Choice”-type dilemma, forced to choose writing or X, there are many X’s I wouldn’t give up. I think that’s a function, though, of my age and the fact that I’ve already had some experience (however unsatisfying) being published: a sense that, well, I gave it some kind of shot, anyhow.

    And yet…

    Given that I need to live here in this house, and will for some time to come, I can’t reasonably give up the day job. (There are other people in the mix; it’s not a decision I could make all on my own.) So if I write for a couple hours early each morning, eat and watch TV for a couple hours before going to bed early enough to write tomorrow — given all that, part of me still feels guilty for not using that TV time to write. That is, I still feel like I ought to be giving up more.

    In other words: it’s complicated. 🙂

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  6. I think, if you love something, then the things you “give up” for it aren’t really sacrifices. I love to garden, and if I had one, and had to choose between that and something else, then it’s not much of a choice, I would garden.

    In my mind, the sacrifice would come in having to give up gardening for something else. Since I no longer have a garden, it’s not much of an issue. If you love doing something, and you’re able to do it, you do it, right?

  7. I’ve given up lots of things. Absolutely. I’ve given up socializing, for sure. I’ve given up money. I’ve given up ambition for money. I’ve given up all the stuff you can buy with money. I’ve given up sleep… or I did last night trying to finish a painting that is still not done. I’ve given up trying to have a beautiful, clean house. I’ve given up other activities… like I’m not doing crafts so I can focus on painting. I’ve also given up writing for the time being, but that may be more hding from it. And I’m not giving up writing for painting. I’m giving up writing for the internet….

    You know what I need to give up for my writing? I need to give up fear. I need to give up feeling like I know what I’m doing. I need to give up perfectionism. I need to give up my insecurities. I need to give up the idea that I can’t do it I don’t know what to do I have no time I have no energy. I need to give up all those thoughts that keep me from just. doing. it.

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