Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sick Day Contemplations - What I've had to give up to be a writer

Today, the day I was supposed to be baking copious quantities of bon-bon cookies, preparing my great--grandmother, Baba's, cardamon bread recipe and writing 1k in the new WIP, I am instead, in bed, sick with a coldy-fluey thing.  I am not happy.  I am a terrible sick person. Why? Because I'm a go, go, go-er.

So, I've thought about all the things from this year. And am dividing it into two categories. The Things I Did and The Things I Had to Let Slide.


  • Finished a Young Adult manuscript, CAST IN GOLD
  • Graduated a daughter from high school (no mean feat since she was illiterate when she came to us at age 13)
  • Took two creative writing courses with Joy Neaves
  • Taught 350 3rd-5th graders in an open studio art room, 5 day x week, December-June
  • Interviewed and got the high school art position in my county
  • Joined the #wipmadness gang on Twitter
  • Taught an art summer camp
  • Signed with a literary agent.
  • Watched my daughter make some really bad, game-changing decisions and learned to live with the worry while realizing she has to live her own life
  • Cleaned out a thirty-year teacher's art room and made it my own
  • Finished an Upper Middle Grade manuscript, MARKS OF A HORSEKEEPER
  • Started teaching high school
  • Read 77 books as of today's count
  • Critted for lots of CP's
  • Blogged regularly
  • Took care of family
  • Went out on submission
  • Celebrated my son's soccer achievement as Goalkeeper of the Year for his conference
  • Celebrated his acceptance to his college of choice
  • And all the everyday stuff like grocery shopping, animal husbandry, finding time for friends

So the above list is impressive and because of it, there are a few things gone (for now) from my life.  It makes me sad and my goal for next year is to pull at least the horses back in more. A new job has added stressors, as has my daughter.  Son will leave in the fall for college, but he's a huge help on the farm.  But here's what I've had to give up to be a writer:
  • personal Facebook - there is just no time.
  • Volunteer duties at our local Humane Society - I was responsible for photographing all the animals for adoption and though I loved the job, the bi-weekly all-day event finally just proved to be more than I could keep up with
  • training my two young horses. I have two oldster retirees and two babies. I can't ride till I get the babies trained. This wasn't the year.  But at my age, a year off from riding is not a good thing.
  • Friends - I've been so myopic it's been hard to do things like get birthday cards or calls done, or even quick hello's. Facebook helped with that, but to write, teach, and take care of a farm - that's all there is.
  • personal health - agh - 6 pounds more of me. This has got to change.
  • My own artwork - see first list.

Now, if you've read all the way through to the end of this self-indulgent list - thanks.  It helps sometimes to get it all down in writing. To see what you have done, and where you want to go for the next year...but that will come on New Years! 

What have you had to give up to follow your dream of writing?


  1. Wow! I'm impressed with your year! It makes me tired just reading it. I don't blame you for having to let some things slide.

    May your 2012 be just as productive.

  2. oh! I almost forgot to say I'm sorry that you're feeling icky and not able to get stuff done today. I hope you're back to %100 real soon!

  3. Wow, you've done a lot over the year! Best of luck in 2012. :)

  4. Wow, great post. It's good to count what you accomplished instead of just dwelling on all the things we didn't do.

  5. Yes, sometimes when the head monkeys are rattling and chittering louder than normal - a good look at the good is just what I need.

  6. Wow, you've had a busy year. Congrats on all you've accomplished.

  7. That is quite an impressive list! I do hope you feel better, and 2012 is a great year for you!


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