Wait. Hear me out.
This is not a "boo-hoo-poor-me" post. Far from it. I've been asking myself some hard questions and reevaluating my long- and short-term goals. I've been asking myself what I really want.
When I was single, the idea of being a travel writer seemed practically perfect in every way. I knew I wanted to write, and I knew I wanted to travel. What else did I need to know? I could get paid to travel! What more could I possibly want???
(Yes, the excessive question marks are necessary. They are meant to evoke a feeling of anxiety in the reader--aka you--as well as to show the impractical idealism inherent in the aforementioned "dream" and the dangers of expecting two goals cobbled together to be a worthy lifetime goal.)
(Maybe I've done too much literary analysis lately...)
Anyway, maybe you can see where this idea could go wrong. If you can't, I'll tell you something that it has taken me a year to learn: Just because I like traveling and I like writing does not mean I like the genre of travel writing.
|Photo by brewbooks on Flickr|
It would also mean, well, a lot of traveling. Of course, I love traveling, but I love doing it my way. I don't want it to be dictated where I should stay and what I should do and exactly what I needed to write about. I don't want to spend half my life sitting on a plane. I want to have a normal life, with a family. And I want to write what I want to write, not some forced enthusiasm that will sell a cruise or a flight.
Basically, I wanted to avoid the bulk of travel writing and focus on one tiny aspect. I wanted to show people the part of the world they had never thought existed. I wanted to expand people's understanding of other peoples and cultures.
Am I leaving that behind?
Nope. Not at all.
I'm freeing myself. I'm letting myself out of a box--a beautiful box, but still a box--so I can be free to live and write the way I want to. To let my writing be part of the life I want to live, not to force my entire life into a career. No. Other people can find happiness that way, but I can't. I'm getting married, and having a family is now real to me, and I want to be there for them.
|Photo by juliejordanscott on Flickr|
So, you ask, am I just throwing myself into the abyss? Am I going back to square one, where I had no idea what I wanted to do? In a way I am, because I'm opening myself up to new possibilities; most important, the possibility--actually, the probability--that I'll do lots of different kinds of writing throughout my life, and I won't ever limit myself to just one genre.
But that doesn't mean I have no idea what I want to do. Actually, I do have an idea. I'm still playing around with it in my mind, but I'm planning to post about it within the next few days.
This seems like a good time to remind you that I love comments. They seem to be a dying race, though. I blame myself, and I am publicly announcing that I will try harder to write posts that are interesting enough that you might have something to say in reply.