Thursday, August 11, 2005

To Pursue, or Not To Pursue?



I have a good friend whom I've known for 20+ years ... and who, unfortunately, lives as far away from me as she can and still be in the continental US. My fault, not her's, since I'm the one who left California and ended up in the cold, white north (aka New Hampshire).

Still, we've always shared a love of reading and writing. In high school, we wrote a book together, a murder mystery. She'd write one chapter and give it to me and I'd write one - a two person round robin. We never discussed plot lines, and took great joy in killing off each other's characters.

Not that long ago, she also shared my desire to be published. She discussed attending a writers retreat at Squaw Valley, sent a short story off to Alfred Hitchcock magazine and delighted at the stories that danced in her mind.

Yesterday, I received an email from her in response to one I sent letting her know about my most recent contest entries and short story submissions. I expressed excitement about taking the steps toward publication, and asked how her writing was coming.

Her response destroyed me: I haven't even turned on my computer since I
moved, much less written anything. I'm not that keen on getting published
anyway. It's a nice dream, but I just don't have the energy to pursue it.


She was the person I shared my writing hopes and dreams with, and the one who I trusted for in depth and "right on" crits. And she's taken her dream and buried it as though it was her imaginary friend from toddlerhood that she's somehow outgrown.

I'm sorry for her, and - selfishly - sorry for me. I've always been the type to jump in with both feet and paddle frantically when pursuing something I want. It doesn't always work out, but I don't want to look back and wonder if I might have done "that thing" that I always dreamed of. I have enough regrets already.

I'll bet you're thinking that this post is headed somewhere profound, aren't you? You'd be wrong. It's just something that is weighing heavily on my heart and I needed to share it with someone.

Thanks for listening. I'm off to pursue the dream.

Incidentally, I finally broke 40,000 words on Camilla! Yay! Only 10,000 more to finish by Saturday. No problem... *snort*

1 comment:

MaryF said...

I'm a lot like you. I think we want to be published so bad, that we can't understand people who don't want it as much as we do. My chapter has a lot of "dabblers" and it's frustrating sometimes. But it's just the way I'm made, like you, to jump in with both feet, and paddle till I get somewhere.