Nobody cares about me.
Of course, my family and friends love me and are concerned about my well being, but nobody cares if I don’t wake up an hour early every morning to write. Nobody cares if I buy a macchiato on the way to work instead of saving that money for a writing class. Nobody cares if I never start my novel. Nobody cares if I watch television every night instead of researching markets. Nobody cares if I stop after the first week of NaNoWriMo or miss a contest deadline. Nobody cares if I tinker and tinker with the same essay for months instead of submitting it and starting something new.
Nobody cares if all I ever do is talk about writing and never actually write.
For most of my writing life, I didn’t understand this. There had always been parents, teachers, and bosses to care whether I did my chores, assignments, and projects. There were consequences–for me and for them–if I didn’t do what I was supposed to do.
But writing is different.
Nothing is going to happen to me, or anybody else, if I don’t put two characters in a room and see what happens. So I don’t submit a short story? So what? There are plenty of other people who will, people who woke up early to drink home-brewed coffee while they rewrote dialog and brainstormed plot twists. No magazine is going to fold if my story isn’t among the hundreds of submissions it receives this month.
The only person who will ever care about my writing life is me. Nobody will do it for me because nobody can do it for me, just like nobody can lose weight for me or go to the dentist for me. If I don’t do it, it doesn’t get done.
The moment I started to care about my writing life, it changed. My writing improved just because I wrote. My pieces found audiences because I sent them out.
I am living my writing life.
Robin M. Allen lives and writes in a little red cabin in the Texas Hill Country. Since she started caring about her writing life, her work has been published in The Del Sol Review, The Christian Science Monitor, and the anthology KnitLit the Third.