I stopped writing for my children. Not that they asked me to. Not that they even knew.
But a few years ago, they were small and needed so much from me, and I had started a photography business to help pay the bills and had been spending so much time writing a blog that I got to the point where I needed to decide if I could keep dedicating so much of my limited time and energy to something that wasn’t providing an income for our family. If I could really do everything and – guess what – I can’t. So I stopped, because I had to stop something, and at the time, writing felt expendable.
But I have felt it. Dear God, have I felt it. Four years ago, a couple moved in across the street from us – about our age, but newly married. He was English and she was American. She had been a high school English teacher in DC, and now that they lived in England, she was teaching at a boarding school and studying creative writing at Oxford.
We talked about writing, and she read a few things I’d written here, and she told me I should write more. I told her I hadn’t had time for a long time, but that writing made me feel like myself, made me feel closer to God, and she said she understood that. (It’s no surprise, considering that, that when I hung up writing, the lines to God got staticky.)
I knew then, that it was important for me to write, but practicality sometimes – often – wins out over ideals, and I guess I just felt like it was too much.
But just because something doesn’t make money, doesn’t mean you can live without it.
It makes me sad sometimes, all the stuff I didn’t write down. But regret will kill you almost as sure as worry will, so I can only go forward. And the good thing about not writing for years and then starting to write again is that suddenly you have so much to write about.
So many stories to tell.