Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Giving Up vs. Surrender

The word surrender has a nice ring to it. Like giving in to something pleasurable or inevitable. Giving up sounds like you've thrown in the towel, you're a wimp, you just don't have the stamina. But, ultimately, don't both mean the same? You're ceasing to do one thing in favor of something else.

I only bring this up because I feel I'm on the verge of giving up on writing for the summer. I've lost my will. Or am I merely surrendering to more pressing responsibilities like playing Clue, Jr. and Superman Uno with Son?

This was supposed to be the week I really cranked up the heat on my novel. But instead, (due to a bad day camp situation), I'm spending all my time with Son and some really demanding cats. And Mother Nature is cranking up the heat on me, and others. As a result we're having some quality indoor time.

Which has caused me to ponder, does the world really need my novel? (no) Can it wait until a time when Son needs me less? (yes) And is it possible to be a good mother and a good person AND finish a novel? (unknown, so far, no)

Is it necessary to be an arrogant bastard who believes the world needs his/her novel in order to just finish the damn thing? (possibly)


theorris said...

I think your sound in all your reasoning. You can also take the tack of just saying your in planning mode. I don't know what kind of writer you are, but I think sitting around just thinking about a piece is writing too. Then again when you are distracted it is difficult to even find time to think.

val said...

I too am berating myself for not working hard enough right now. In which I ask... what do you mean "working"...every moment I'm worrying about where/what/how everyone is doing. Did I remember snacks for the "Guppies"? Which day is swimming day? When did I tell them I had vacation? What TECHNICALLY constitutes a sick day? How do you sit at a computer and make a life out of it when your life screams STOP! Umm, You have time.

susansinclair said...

My life coach today (yes, I hired one!) affirmed that yes, one can and should be proud of the work one does accomplish, rather than berating oneself (Val's term is toooo close to home) for the work one has not yet accomplished.

Maybe you need to redefine the writing task, just for now.

In other words, yes, dammit, we do need your writing, in whatever form it takes! (Where can I read more, btw? All I have is 13 ways of looking at barbie, which I adore, but still...)

val said...

Time ...to write the novel. We will need it!

Nik said...

Wow. I'm trying to convince Erik that I'm a better mom than either writer/teacher; therefore, we should not go.
As Val and Susan said, we need your novel, but incrementally.
I for one, am looking forward to it, but like I must with everything else, will wait.

Scorpion's Tail said...

Okay. I'm going to be the stickler. It's NOT okay for you NOT to write your novel. That's it.

Doesn't matter if the world needs it. Doesn't matter if it's hot. Doesn't matter that son also needs you.


Lisa B. said...

I think you should write, too, but I also think it's perectly okay to take a break. Sometimes you can write yourself through your, whatever, boredom, ennui, disgust with the project. but sometimes you just need to take a break and play Clue Jr. And not feel like a quitter, a giver up, or a surrenderer because you're doing the other things instead of writing your novel. It's not like you're never going to write again, for crying out loud. Live your life. The end of my advice.