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  • Andrea Torrey Balsara

IWSG: Overcoming Regrets in my Writing "Career"

The awesome co-hosts for the January 5 posting of the IWSG are Erika Beebe, Olga Godim, Sandra Cox, Sarah Foster, and Chemist Ken!

IWSG January Question: What's the one thing about your writing career you regret the most? Were you able to overcome it?

I think the hardest thing for me in my “writing career” has been reconciling my joy in creating stories with the idea of a “career.”

When I was 6 years old, I remember holding a picture book in my hands. The illustrations were so beautiful that a feeling of intense yearning came over me and I thought, “If only I could make pictures like these when I grow up!” When I got older, I added writing to my list of things I loved to do.

Careers are sometimes about fun, but most often they are about goals, about income, about all sorts of things that have nothing to do with a 6-year-old’s yearning to draw and write.

As I had books published and got more commercial success, more and more I bought into the very western idea of art as yet another commodity to be bought and sold and of using the amount of income I made as my barometer for success.

Instead of creating from a place of deep knowing, and of joy, I became deeply frustrated. I felt like I was on a treadmill, screaming into the void to have people look at my art and read my books.

Finally, one day I’d had enough. I was ready to quit. With a broken heart, I asked myself, “What will I do now?” Without missing a beat, my inner 6-year-old said: “Make up stories and draw pictures!”

I have since quit my “career” of writing and illustrating and now have fun making up stories and drawing pictures.

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