My daughter called me a workaholic.
Not in a mean way. A statement of fact. Not accusatory.
The other night I popped on the computer for a “few minutes,” which of course turned into way longer. I apologized, telling Kayleen I just needed to finish up some “work” things.
She laughed and said, “Yep. I figured. You’re always working.”
“I’m not always working,” I countered.
“Mom, you’re a workaholic,” she said.
“You think I’m a workaholic?” I asked her.
Her eyes bugged out. “Seriously? Yes! You’re always working.”
I apologized. She waved off the apology, saying it didn’t bother her. That from me she’s learned to work hard for what she wants.
But I wondered: At what cost?
When I was a little kid I wanted to be two things when I grew up: An author and a professional singer.
You know what people did when I told them my dreams? Laughed. Told me to get more realistic goals.
I’m competitive. Rebellious.
Their response only made me work harder. Want it more.
And I had it. The writing part at, least. I’d caught it.
And then I’d lost it.
The last couple of years its felt out of reach. Like water slipping through my fingers, sliding across my flesh, slippery, and impossible to grip.
There are days when I think about it. Fantasize about it.
But then I feel sick.
I can’t stop.
Writing is in my blood.
It pumps through my veins.
Its tangled around my heart.
And it makes me work hard. Too hard.
Late into the night.
When I’m watching TV with my daughter, sitting outside with my husband, having a glass of wine with friends, I feel it’s pull. The writing/marketing/rat race drawing me back.
I’m struck with guilt for taking a break.
I should be working.
I need to keep going….
I’ve come too far to stop now.
But have I?
I don’t know.
Like a battered wife. Beaten down, but still in love.
My heart beats for the written word.
Prose sing over me, lyrical and haunting, a siren song.
Characters speak, their voices loud and insistent.
Stories reside in my heart, causing my pulse to race and my head to spin.
I’ll continue letting them capture my mind, bleed from my fingertips. Keep releasing them into the hands of my readers.
And pray one day it will all be worth it….