Ten writers for children. All with something to say.
I am grateful every day that I get to do what I do. Making up stories and writing them down is a dream job, and I know how many millions of people would love to do it. Of course there are frustrations, but they are so minor compared with the joy of making books and talking to students about the process. I get twenty four hours each day to choose what I want to do, and that feels like an enormous gift.
Reading all of my Potato's woes and frustrations certainly reveals to me that I am not alone in feeling that there is not enough time in the day to paint and write all that I want to and balance the demands of family, friends, house, cats, and life in general. I can also commiserate on the difficulties of which project calls the loudest to be worked on and waiting for a response from a publisher, or whether to find an agent, or how to really get involved with the technology of the book, and then add in the "social networking" of marketing to the list of things to learn and pay attention to!
What I wish I had most was more dream time; meaning the time one finds along a path in the woods or walking along a shore, when there is life all around to be noticed. I need time to notice and be surprised. Due to deadlines of all sorts, every minute of my day and night is accounted for. I found this photo by the photographer, Emmet Gowin and it seems to illustrate my deepest worries... that I am growing old too fast to realize all that I want to write and paint. I am afraid my files of story and picture ideas are all going to blow away with the winds of time and I will turn to dust before I finally get to them.
What do I find most frustrating about my writing career? Not much, really. Sure, I have to balance chores and responsibilities with my desire to fully focus on my art, but in reality I can only work for so many hours a day writing before mental fatigue forces me to quit anyway, so as long as I schedule things appropriately, I rarely miss out on my desired writing time. Of course, someone else “messing” with my schedule (unexpected visits, etc.) can be frustrating, but I realize these are minor inconveniences compared to what a lot of other writers/artists have to contend with—so I don’t really count that either.
I suppose the only thing that really frustrates me is waiting so long to hear back on a submission. I sent some poems to a magazine in January, for example, and I still have to wait until June (at least) to know whether or not they liked them! Of course, I no longer rush down to the mailbox every day, as I used to do years ago; I just move on to the next project . . .