Posts Tagged ‘Writing Life’

Once in a while, admitting that I’m an aspiring writer makes me feel ashamed. It doesn’t happen often; most of the time, I’m proud to own my ambitions and my hopes.  But sometimes, especially with family, I feel that my hopes are unrealistic, pipe-dreams, and that I should grow up and do something more productive with my life.

I spent last weekend in the Black Hills, where I grew up, at my parents’ home.  It was a fairly nice visit; the scenery is lovely, and the smell of the pine trees is what always comes to mind when I think of “home.”  My parents, though, while they are lovely people, are so different from me that I sometimes wonder how they managed to produce me.  They are extremely conservative, not particularly well-read, and their love of art and literature stops at Thomas Kincaid and Louis L’Amour.  It isn’t snobbery that prompts me to point this out; it’s just one of many examples of the ways in which we are different.

They asked me, over breakfast on the morning I was leaving, what my plans were for the fall.  I work part-time as a writing and ESL tutor at a state university, and I’m planning to start work on my master’s degree; I mentioned that I would be taking some classes, as well as continue to write.

My mother asked me, “Don’t you think it’s time to think about getting a full-time job?”

I said no.  I told them about the writing grants that I’m applying for, the magazines and journals that I’m sending stories to, and I talked a little about my unfinished novel.  I said that as long as working part-time was adequate, along with my husband’s salary, that I would continue to write as much as I could.

My father told me it was time for me to grow up, to stop putting such a heavy burden on my husband’s shoulders.  My sister, who had stayed out of the conversation until then, nodded, and said that her ex-husband would never have let her take advantage of him like that.

I didn’t know how to reply.  So I left the room, and went into the woods with my notebook and my pen.


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1.  A Writer’s Journey: Tips on everything from writing good villains to making time to write.  Excellent site!

2.  Creative Liberty: Creative development across all media; this month’s focus is on developing creative momentum.  Especially good for those of us who practice more than one art.

3.  Beanery Writers Weblog: Home of the Beanery Online Literary Magazine.  Includes articles and tips on writing, as well as some really excellent fiction.

4.  Life of a Writer: Advice on writing, finding writing jobs, and juggling writing with the rest of your life.

5.  A Place for Strangers and Beggars: The blog of teacher and SF writer James Van Pelt.  Includes all sorts of interesting and useful advice from a professional.

6.  Becoming a Fiction Writer: An aspiring writer shares what she’s learning as she goes along.

7. Tripping the Muse: Everything from avoiding sexist language to selling your work.

8. Confident Writing: Tips from a writing coach.

9. Hope Writes: Creativity for writers of all stripes.

10. The Writers Group: “Four women share how they encourage, give feedback, and offer critique as they create their unique literary lives.”  A nurturing sort of blog.

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