There is never enough time for reading and writing. Maybe someday I will sit in my study, no scratch that, I prefer a wood-paneled two-story library with a skylight and rolling ladder. Someday I will sit in my library surrounded by books, magazines, papers and a laptop and read and write to my heart’s content (or until my husband feels severely neglected). Maybe someday I will even pursue a Master’s degree. But today is not that day….
Today I teach two courses, raise four children, and support my husband in his ministry. When I do find the occasional day to read and write, I’m continually reminded by my growing stack of books to read and magazines to peruse that this is not that day. And yet I still try. Because when that day comes, I want to be ready. I want to have spent enough time on the process that I am ready for the next step.
Sometimes that process is painful. I actually wrote a blog last week and never published it. Why? Because I decided that my writing wasn’t good enough to be “published.” Well, of course, my writing isn’t good enough to be published! That’s why I started this blog. To practice writing. And yet I can’t get out of my own way enough to follow through.
Art is like that, and we are our own worst critics. I’ve yet to meet a musician (and I know many) who after a performance would say, “Yep, that was perfect! Went exactly as I’d hoped.” No, there are numerous aspects to critique and improve on for next performance. And so it is with writing. Even a published author when rereading his work is not always completely satisfied with the end result.
I recently read Ender’s Game. I enjoyed the introduction almost as much as the story. Orson Scott Card takes us on a journey of his imagination and shows how he created the world in which Ender Wiggin lives. But he admits early in the introduction that this new release of the novel needed, “something besides the minor changes as I fix the errors and internal contradictions and stylistic excesses that have bothered me ever since the novel first appeared.” An author continues to revise even after publication.
As I am in this day of my life I will enjoy the process both of loving my family and of writing when I have the chance. I will get out of my own way, hit publish, and be done with it knowing that right now the process is more important than the end result.