Small Things

Brief Thoughts on Writing and Vocation


I write. Some.  I write in a diary, I write this blog, I occasionally work on fiction writing. I have had 2 library science articles published. I have the idea of some day writing a (preferably good) kid’s book that gets published.

One author I admire, Shannon Hale, recently wrote an interesting piece on her blog about being a writer and a stay-at-home mom. Here it is.

It definitely gave me a lot to think about. I fully believe that this is how it works for Ms. Hale (and it obviously works, because she’s written some awesome books. And there are some things I can definitely learn from it: wasting time on the computer (and off) doing non-essential, non-writing tasks would be the first. The idea of taking plenty of time to write before worrying much about publishing is another. And I think I can accept that I’m not “hardcore” enough about writing to call it a passion or to see it as my life’s work.

In some ways, the conversation should stop there. But I have a few reasons of my own why I’m not going to give up just yet.

  1. I’ve heard/read other writers emphasize that everyone has a different writing process. So what works for Ms. Hale might not work for everyone, even other successful authors.
  2. I can’t find citations for any of this right now. But I do know that some people don’t successfully publish a book until middle age or later–that the age bell curve for “becoming an author” skews much later than other life accomplishments. There’s not necessarily a need to rush–all my children are at home and require attention at all waking hours right now. That won’t always be the case.
  3. While I would like to write a book worthy of publication, there are many other things that I’m ok with putting ahead of this–again, at least for right now. I see my primary professional work being as a librarian–and if I become a good librarian and am never a published fiction author, that will be ok. I am also not willing to give up such things as hanging out with friends (which happens infrequently enough anyhow), pursuing those things that may only be “hobbies,” and sometimes just doing nothing.

So I will keep on writing when I can fit it in, try to make better use of those times, and see what comes of it. Maybe nothing. But better to write in bits and pieces than not at all.