Sunday, April 30, 2006

Standing Up

By Nichole Giles

Every day I wake up and face two important duties. While I don’t get paid yet for either they are both of utmost importance to me. First and most important, I am a wife and mother. I count that as one job, because it falls into the family category. Second, I am a writer. Writing is important to me for many reasons, but mostly for my individual well-being. To put it simply, I love to write and so I must.

Lately it seems as if many people in my life don’t consider my writing important. For instance, my mother called me the other day and made a statement that almost sent me through the roof.

Now before I tell you what she said, I must first take partial blame. I have allowed many of the people I love to be ignorant of my writing desires and the time I put into them. My mother was asking me to do something she didn’t want to do herself, and this is how she put it, “I just don’t have the time, and since you do, I need you to do it for me. You spend so much time on the computer, I’m sure you can take a few minutes to do this.”

Usually I would have bit my tongue, sighed, and said, “Sure, Mom, I’ll take care of it.” But not this time. My writer friends recently heard my cries for assistance from the volume of projects in which I’ve ensconced myself, but my mother has not. Like a child, I felt urges of defiance toward the woman who raised me. I stood up for myself.

“No Mom,” I answered. “I don’t have the time.”

Then, I proceeded to list all of the many things I needed to have accomplished by the end of the week and why. I did not admit to her that many of my deadlines are self-imposed, but that’s a different matter.

My daily writing and reading goals are not large and should be easily accomplished. Each day, I set aside time for each, but I have allowed so many little things to infringe upon those times, that my load continues to build. I find myself staying up nights to write, my brain unable to rest until that scene, or conversation, or character idea, is written. When I counted my works-in-progress a few days ago, I realized I had thirteen and counting.

Writing is a serious matter to me, and so I have decided to stand up for myself when someone assumes what I’m doing isn’t important. Writing is a part of who I am, and since I am important, so is my writing. It doesn’t matter how much time passes before I bring home a regular paycheck. I don’t write for money. I write for love. And isn’t that the best reason?

So, to my mother and everyone else who chooses to scoff when I tell them I’m going to be an author, I’m standing up.

“I’m using my writing time to write, and you can’t have it!”


Darvell said...

Testing posting without registration.

Due to complaints about the difficulty of posting for non-blogspot-registered visitors, the requirements for posting to our blog have been relaxed. Anonymous posts are now allowed, but if we get too many spammers posting here, we may have to go back to requiring registration.

Thanks for visiting our blog!

Darvell Hunt
LDS Writers Blogck Editor

Karen H. said...

Good for you, Nichole! Defend that writing time and take care of yourself!

Anonymous said...

I just had to write. Too many people we love don't understand the love we have for writing. Unless they see a paycheck roll in that qualifies it as 'respectable' use of time, they struggle to understand that--for many of us-- writing is more than an occupation. It is a deeply personal calling. We write because we have to, just as much as we have to breathe. It is part of us that helps make us whole.
Yet, I find I need to be more confident in sharing with those I love the inner reasons of why I write. (Why can I write the thoughts of a stranger but struggle to announce my own?)
For me, writing is far more than transforming thoughts into physical words and hoping to get paid. It is spiritual. It is something I promised to do before I even came to earth. I feel many writers have that same calling. Keep writing. Maybe one day, someone will quote from it and the world will be better because of it.