Sunday, May 29, 2011

What Can You Do with an Old Name Badge? - Part 2

A little over a month ago, I wrote a post inspired by a name badge I still have hanging in my office - the one I received at the first Rutgers One-on-One Plus conference I attended. The badge has been stuck to the same spot on the bulletin board on my office for almost 6 years, a simple, plastic-encased memento of a day spent immersed in the world of writers and writing.
Truth is, I don't have many days like that. The name on that badge represents a wife, mother, daughter, sister, counselor, friend....and most of my days are spent divvying myself and my time up into the various facets of my life and personality. Being a writer - real or otherwise - is only part of who I am.

Still, the desire to write never completely subsides, though it does go into hibernation, sometimes at the most inopportune times. It can also be driven into hibernation by careless - or even constructive comments. Because my writing reflects all those pieces of me, it is a part of me, too. And when it is criticized, the criticism can feel very personal. Personal enough to make the writer go into hibernation herself.

When I first wrote about the badge, I wrote about the role it played in making me feel like a real writer. And then last week, I experienced the dark side that every real writer experiences - rejection. One of those cold, hard realities that can cause a writer to question whether or not she really is a writer. Whether or not the time spent in those pursuits is worth the time that is removed from all of the other aspects of life.

I have a tendency to take on the most I can possibly handle - sometimes more - without even realizing I'm doing it. I often think I'm ready to tackle something, only to find that it's much bigger than I thought it would be, which makes balancing all the roles played by the person on that name tag more complicated than it needs to be.

For a long time, I've believed that everything happens for a reason and that things happen when they're supposed to. I know those sound like platitudes - and perhaps they are - but I prefer to think of them as ways of reframing undesirable situations. If we believe (and I do) that there is a season for everything, then maybe it's possible that we need a little nudge to keep us in the right season. Just as one warm, summery day in April doesn't mean that summer has begun, finishing a novel doesn't mean that my writing season will begin at that moment. I have no idea when - or if - that season will come, but in the meantime, my roles as wife, mother,daughter, sister, counselor, friend are definitely in season.

And sometimes it's good to be reminded of that.

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