Personal Essay- Hobbies (While I'll Probably Never be a Novelist)

I love teaching, but in a perfect world I'd be a full-time author. I'd publish a book every few years, get to go on lengthy tours, give interviews, and set my own daily schedule. I know these are lofty goals, even for successful authors, but a girl can dream. Each year one of my New Year's Resolutions is to write at least a draft of a story, but each year I fail. And it's not like I don't have plenty of ideas, because I do. What I don't have?


If I am going to realistically look at my life right now, there is absolutely no way I can fit in writing a novel, at least one that I'm proud of (I did NaNoWriMo once and while I did finish it, it was total junk). Every single day is a balancing act, at least when I'm not on summer break. Every single day I'm being tugged in a million different directions and generally don't get a moment to myself until Sawyer is in bed at night. Every single day I have to breathe through the anxiety of not getting enough done. I'm not willing to sacrifice time with my son, exercise, seeing friends, taking care of my home, or making plans to hole up and write, which is something I wouldn't be able to find the quiet to do anyway. 

Because I like, if not love, most of the things that are "in the way" of my supposed writing career, it's an easier pill to swallow. It's not like I'm not a writer AND I'm living a boring, mundane, miserable life. I'm not a writer because I have a life full of the choices I make. A lot of the things I do I do with my son, and the boy talks a mile a minute, something not very conducive to writing anyway. So even if I decided to not work out 30-50 minutes most days it wouldn't really be a time slot I could use for writing anyway, since he's usually hanging out with me while I do it (my treadmill room sort of doubles as a playroom). Same with most of my time on the weekend- if we didn't go to a museum or somewhere else it's not like I could magically have that time to myself to write. 

Eventually Sawyer will grow up and I might have more time, depending on what our lives are like then. I have been trying to convince myself to hone my writing chops with short stories in the meantime, since twenty page increments seem a lot more doable than more than two hundred. The problem is that my ideas aren't for short stories, they're for longer narratives, and I just don't have the same interest in writing short stories as I do novels. But I guess beggars can't be choosers, right?

I'm not completely ruling out writing a novel, or heck even publishing one, but I just can't wrap my brain around how that would be possible. Maybe when Sawyer's in college I'll sign up for an MFA program that will allow me to write one as part of the curriculum or I'll run away to a writer's colony in like Greece when I'm retired. I haven't completely shut the door on the possibility of it one day happening, but it is sort of propped shut for the foreseeable future. And while it's not okay, and I could turn this into a feminist manifesto on the inequality of gender in the workplace and domestic sphere, but won't, it's the right now.

And, honestly, I have bigger fish to fry. There are more pressing, realistic concerns in my life to dwell on. Time will tell...


  1. I think you do a lot of writing on your blog. You should be proud of that. I also feel like I never have enough time left after work, cooking, cleaning, working out, and spending time with my husband and family and friends. I couldn't imagine doing all that and having a child to raise as well.

    1. Thank you! I definitely wish there were a few more hours in each day!