Ooh, what a great thought--I should tweet about that! Can I do it in 140 words? I think so; let's give it a go. Which hashtags should I use? My faves so far have been: #amwriting, #writerlife, and #amquerying. I shy away from #coffee because it is overused (the hashtag, of course, not the substance).
But I digress. See how engrossing it can be? I am amazed I have this kind of thought nearly every day now--thoughts that did not occur to me at all six months ago. My Twitter handle, @staciehaas, was active before then because my day job in public relations required it, but it was little-used.
This is the part of the business of writing--the platform--that is threatening to take over my perspective on writing. I like it--don't get me wrong. There's something really great about engaging with the #kidlit community and seeing how other writers and agents do social media, and more, how they write, edit, and produce awesome creative works. It's inspiring, and that in itself makes it worth it. For writers, inspiration makes all the difference.
The fact remains, though, that I miss the peace of simply writing to write. Ever since I took the plunge in late February to put my middle grade novel on submission, my writer's life has changed forever. I know that the business of writing is a necessary part of selling and marketing my published work (if I get there), and I'm happy to do what it takes.
What I miss more than anything is the anonymity of my process. The creation of my novel was intensely personal for me. Only a handful of close family members and friends knew of its existence. My goals for the book were unclear--other than to write it. Researching, writing and editing were all part of an enjoyable and fulfilling process that I loved to sneak into my daily life when I could. There was no sense of pressure.
I am clinging--desperately at times--to keep writing that way now. I find the business of writing, editing, and publishing fascinating, but I'm asking for the grace to maintain perspective on it. After all, I had a life before I started to get my book published and whether I am ultimately successful or not, I will (God-willing) still have a life afterwards. I affirm that my value is not dependent on whether my novel ends up on bookstore shelves.
In summary, the transition of writing "for fun" to "for real" is a bit daunting and overwhelming. My hat is off to all of you writers out there who have crossed the bridge and found out to how to balance them--and how to keep hope alive for those of you in the same boat as me. I think this boat has many names: Hope, Patience, and Perseverance among them.
Back to the business of writing!