Thursday, July 23, 2015
The interview by Terry Burns
It was a one on one meeting at a conference like the one shown here. But this time it was a young lady. She sat down and I waited for her to launch into her pitch.
That's not what happened.
Instead of talking about a project she began to tell me why she couldn't write. She was a working mother which took up her time. What time was left over her kids seemed to take up. There was time given at her church, family obligations, shopping, laundry . . . she went on and on with the reasons she had no time to write.
I knew by then that no pitch was coming but I didn't know why I was hearing all of this. Then she stopped, looked at me earnestly and said, "Do you think I should quit writing?"
I didn't bat an eye, "Yes."
She looked shocked. I think she was looking for some encouragement, maybe a little motivation. i didn't think that was what was needed at all.
"Most of the writers I know aren't doing it because they want to, they do it because they HAVE TO. It is important to them, something they simply have to do. They can't give it up. But it's a hard business, full of rejection and disappointment. They have something to say and it is very important for them to say it. If you can walk away I encourage you to do it."
She walked away, stunned. It was not what she expected. But if she could give it up it would give her time for her kids and her family without the guilt of feeling the writing was being neglected.
She met me in the hall the next day and said she had thought on it and prayed about it and she knew she was one of those who could not give it up. "Then you have to find a way to carve out the time for it," I said. I told her writing time simply did not exist. That there would never be a time when it was just available for the using. Life doesn't allow that, life expands to fill unused time. The time has to be found, then jealously protected and on some degree of reasonable schedule.
When she sat down with me, neither of us knew what the appointment held in store for us. I think it was a wake up call. I hope it was.