When I first started blogging, I wrote about writing (fancy that!) and how difficult it can be to balance life as a writer, a spouse, and a full-time employee. My very first comment was from someone I didn’t know in real life and was an exciting event- until I actually read it. The person suggested that I should just be thankful that I have a husband and stop complaining about writing. That really, I should just give up writing and give my time to my husband and my full time job.
I’m sad to say that I didn’t respond to the comment and, though I deleted it, I still allowed this random stranger’s opinion get to me. I stopped blogging for almost a year because of it.
I wish I still had that comment sitting around somewhere so that I could address that person directly. Instead I’ll settle for a public post.
The reason I couldn’t (and still can’t) just stop writing is that writing is a part of my identity. Yes, I’m also a wife. And yes, I’m also an employee of a large organization… but that doesn’t mean I can’t also be a writer.
And you know what? Sometimes I’m going to complain about writing because, though I love it and I’m grateful for this magical ability to pull ideas, characters, and entire worlds out of thin air, I also know that writing is hard.
Sometimes writing feels like an expedition up Mount Everest when you realize you’ve forgotten your oxygen but can’t turn back because you’ve suddenly got white out conditions. The thing is, as a writer, I can find my way out of those white out conditions by thinking up a solution, but I’ve gotta put in the hard work to do it. And it’s not the hard work of a wife, nor is it the hard work of an employee.
It is the work of an artist. Of someone who creates. It is the work of a writer.
And it’s a part of who I am whether people like it or not.