Saturday morning gut-check

A profile I pitched to a magazine out of Atlanta has been accepted – I’ll link to it on my website once,well, I have a website. Now, if only favorite online literary magazine would write back and accept my essay, I would have met one of my New Year’s Resolutions to have two published pieces (outside of work and local papers) this year. Or, since favorite online literary magazine will probably reject said essay, since its been rejected everywhere else, it would be nice if it did so quickly so I could send it elsewhere. I know, just last month I was complaining about the hasty rejection I received. What can I say? A writer is never happy.

Another profile I wrote led to my subject being interviewed by important weekend NPR show, and fancy D.C. newspaper,  and all of a sudden I am hot at work, hot hot hot, to the point where ten hour days are not enough (not that I work ten hour days, hardly, but if I did they wouldn’t be enough, so I stick to a nice solid nine) and I am imagining myself as intrepid big city writer, pounding the pavement in my designer heels and beautiful suits, tape recorder in one hand and pen in another, meeting with government leaders and famous actors and complaining about my GQ deadline.

A little bit of hubris on  my part this week, I suppose. But hell, I had a good week, a satisfying and busy week, which left me so wiped out that I abandoned all short stories, the novel, my immersion book, my essays, and that I’m not so happy with.  I want the literary career, too. I want the lovely, heartwrenching literary novel, the critical essays, a nod from Joyce Carol Oates, days tucked away in the college library. But if I keep going the way I’m going there will be no time for that life. I don’t know which way to go – which road to take – which way I will make me the most happy, the most satisfied, doing my best for the world.

Tried talking about this with S. but we both are struggling right now with career decisions and all we could decide on was having pork roast and acorn squash for dinner. And probably copious amounts of wine.

Probably sound like I’m complaining, but I’m not, really.  Just fueled by several cups of coffee and some peanut butter toast, passing a few minutes before running. Confused by myself, wondering if I’m selling out.  It feels a little like it.  Odd, that success feels like selling out, like I’m worried about the criticism and raised eyebrows from all my writing colleagues. And why am I worried what other people think? Shouldn’t I just be grateful I make a living writing? I swear, fate is going to come after me in a bad, bad way.

Saturday morning gut-check

It is cool, gray and rainy outside. S. is upstairs studying for, well, ever, probably. I’ve lost 2lbs, according to the scale.  I get to shop at the fancy grocery store since we don’t need very much in the way of food, today.  I’m partway into Stephen King’s The Cell. While most people I know are furiously writing their novels, I’ve taken a break from mine to outline the story, since my plot is seriously screwed up and I keep hitting brick walls.  Work is good but busy. I leave for vacation in a week  and a half, and promised myself I’d start packing.  The movie Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is upstairs waiting for me.  Michigan State plays Notre Dame tonight, which S. and I will watch over our autumnal dinner. I’ve read most of my favorite blogs, and commente on many of them.  It’s time, I think, to put on the old running shoes and hit the pavement for a little while, clear out the mind on this cloudy day, and return to the keypad and my work for a while.  Really, no decision about which way to go needs to be made, at least not yet.  Probably, that will end up taking care of itself, with time.   And until then, I just need to keep on writing, keep on writing, keep on writing…

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This entry was posted in Everything In Between, Hopelessly Indulgent Reflection, The Private, Time for a Hundred Visions and Revisions. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Saturday morning gut-check

  1. Dorothy W. says:

    Oh, boy, do I understand the feeling of being at a crossroads like that — I’m kind of in the same place, and have been for a little while. Life will probably make the decision for me, so I really shouldn’t worry, but I can’t help it, you know? Anyway, congratulations on the profile acceptance and for being so hot at your job! That’s wonderful news. If you have to have a dilemma, it sounds like maybe you’ve got a decent one? I do think that most often we don’t really make decisions, they get made for us. It’s not always true — sometimes we have real, genuine decisions to make where we have control — but I think it happens a lot less often than we think. Circumstances tend to decide for us.

  2. kj says:

    You are writing “literary” words here. In your blogs. Believe it or not. And all of it will take care of itself. It is a challenge to try and decide which way to take your writing career. One that pays now, or one that pays later. I think you can do both. If you want. Make no decision. Just keep doing what you’re doing. Which, I guess, is a decision.

    Pleased to have stopped in and read your writing. To feel your thoughts. Again.

    Happy Sunday, Court!

  3. BikeProf says:

    I’m with you here. Do I work on my critical essays or my fiction? The fiction feels right at the moment, so that’s where I’m going. Next month? Dunno. You’re writing, though, and that seems to me to be thebig thing. Congratulations on the success–and on the impetus it adds to your work.

  4. bloglily says:

    Yay Courtney. What a nice thing to read about. I know it might not help to say that if you’re enjoying the type of writing you’re doing now, you should keep on with it — but I do think that there’s time to follow a lot of different forks. This isn’t the only time of decision you’ll have And if you go in one direction for a while, it’s not impossible to go in another when you want to. You’re employed (and hot at work!), have a lovely husband, healthy and WRITING! This is all good. xxoo, BL

  5. Dorothy – you know, I think you’re absolutely right. This isn’t a decision, ultimately, that I will make. I agree completely – genuine decisions really are rare…life takes care of most things for us.

    Kim, your input keeps me motivated, and knowing that you are a few hundred miles north of me, doing the same thing every day, well, it’s such a comfort!

    Bikeprof – I think goign int he direction that feels good is probably the only way to go – a writer more than most professions must be guided by intuition, I think. And the success here does add impetus and inspiration.

    Bloglily – I definately forget there is tons of time ahead of me, and loads of opportunity to take different directions. I am so blessed, and I know it…I just need to slow down and appreciate it !

  6. Carl V. says:

    I’m not convinced that you can’t have both. It will be hard work and one may have to take a temporary back seat to the other but from the outside looking in I honestly believe that if you want to write you should write. Even if the literary career only consists of occasional stolen moments while you try to be a journalist.

    Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is such a fun movie. I just got my copy back from my brother in law over the weekend and look forward to watching it again.

    I hate Notre Dame…am annoyed that Mich. State let them back into that game.

  7. Courtney says:

    Carl, oh, let’s be best friends forever – I hate Notre Dame as well. That game…that game…I can’t even bear to talk about it. It was HORRIBLE . So horrible I didn’t watch Kiss Kiss Bang Bang…I’ll pop that in this week. And thanks for the encouraging words…everybody is beginning to help me see that there IS a way. Courtney

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