My friends and family have never, ever given me grief for being a writer. They’ve never even once hinted that I don’t have a “real” job— so why do I act so stressed out? They’ve never once reminded me how good I have it since I can afford to stay home, take care of my children, and write all day. My brother and sister-n-law have full time jobs, and have to fit all of their art around paying jobs and two small children. I don’t have to do this. And yet, they’ve never once told me how lucky I am. My husband, who has been the sole breadwinner of the family for the past 7.5 years since I quit my job, has never once told me to go out and get a job.
Part of the reason why I think I’ll be so sad if I never get a book published, is because I think publishing a novel would be a great way to thank all of these wonderful people who support me day after day. So many writers have to hide their writing from others, have to fight for every minute in front of the laptop. I’m so, so lucky I don’t have to do this. I’m so, so lucky, that when I have such terrible doubts about my ability as a writer, about my chance of getting a book published, that the only person working against me is me.
I just have to remind myself of this. Unlike working at a job away from home, I have to be the one to pat myself on my back. No one will be there to do it for me. I have to remind myself that writing IS work. Publication or not, it is work that counts.
And so, I celebrate the work by taking photos of the page I’m on, to chart my own milestones, my own progress, since I don’t have a manager or a paycheck.