A few years ago my husband and I decided it was time for me to spend a couple of years at home with the kids. I had always worked, with both kids going into daycare just as soon as I was healthy enough to go back to work.
It should have been wonderful, but unfortunately I sucked royally as a stay-at-home mom. I was bored. I was lonely. I missed the challenges of my job. I needed more intellectual stimulation than I was getting from teaching the boys their 1,2,3’s and their A,B,C’s.
I decided I wanted to write a novel, and so my husband bought me a computer. I banged out my first novel in a few months, researched what to do next, then sent it off to a publisher with high hopes. Six months later I got a polite rejection.
This is NOT what I expected. But I’m a determined sort of gal, so I kept writing and – gradually – I started to get better at it. I added writing short stories to my repetoire, as well as short pieces for a friend’s blog. I kept submitting my writing and kept going in the face of rejection.
Then I went back to work. I tried to give up writing. A full-time job, two active kids and a workaholic husband did not leave me much time for writing and it didn’t seem like I was ever going to have any success selling any of my writing. Giving it up seemed like a sensible decision.
Then I got depressed. I missed writing. I missed it horribly. There was a huge hole in my life and there was no other choice. I started writing again.
I focused on shorter fiction due to my time constraints. I sold a short story. Then I sold another. Then I sold a novella. Now I’m back to working on a novels.
This is a tough business. I’ve received hundreds of rejections and only three acceptances. I think I would give it up if I could. I’m hoping that all the hard work over the years is starting to pay off and I’ll start getting more acceptances than rejections. Maybe.
It’s not easy, trying to fit in the writing around all my other responsibilities. Virginia Woolf once wrote that all a woman needs to write is a little money and a room of one’s own. She forgot to mention the maid, the nanny and the cook.
So, that’s why I write. Because I don’t really have a choice.