My mentee brother David McDonald is running a blog series at the moment called “Paying for our Passion”. He’s invited a bunch of Australian writers to blog about how they pay for their writing career. It’s an exercise in transparency, and highlights how different writers have different levels of opportunity and access.
I read the one by Maureen Flynn and it hit me right in the raw, sore spot inside. My life is different to Maureen’s, my challenges are different, but I can relate to a lot of what she wrote, particularly:
I’ve stayed sane because I have something that only I can control, a selfish past time that’s all about me. That selfish past time is my writing. No one can replicate it or take it from me unless I let them. No one can do the writing job for me. And even if I never get published and stay the amateur forever, that’s a very important realisation indeed…
I started writing when I became a single parent. It was a process, and it was something for me. I’d lost myself in mothering young children and it was about rebuilding myself. Now that I have a young child with developmental delays and a possible diagnosis looming, and am studying full time for a Masters, the guilt rises up more frequently. How can I justify the time away from my other responsibilities? Maureen has articulated how I can justify it beautifully. I invite anyone else who struggles to justify their writing time to read Maureen’s post and feel a little more secure in the fact that you’re not the only one.