Making Butterflies

Today I made butterflies.

It seemed the only productive thing to do, and they look pretty.

Sometimes when my brain is full or aching or lost I find it soothing to sew things. I am rubbish at sewing, but I like having my hands busy and my mind blank. Well, never blank, but drifting, if you know what I mean.

I seem to have reached a crisis point in my life; a quiet creeping sort of crisis that has fallen on me like fog, rather than crashing into my life like a runaway train in a disaster movie as my crises normally do. It is a fog with all sorts of horrible things lurking in it. I hate horror.

All the things I have struggled with my whole life seem to have come crunching together this week. My lack of confidence and self-belief have crunched against my delusional confident sense of self. A see-saw of I’m a crap writer, I can write, I’m a crap writer, I can write. Alongside that, my lazy self is yelling at my hardworking persona. My lazy self says It’s good enough, just move on. My hardworking persona says; you know that’s rubbish. The whole thing needs tearing apart and putting back together again. My Mummy self says, give it up and focus on the children. My working self says; you gotta earn some cash.  My sensible self says, well you aint going to do that writing, which prompts the realistic voice to pipe up; best get a proper job if money is what you want.

In the end I arrive at the same point I have reached many times in my life. I want someone else to tell me what to do. So I read some blogs, some books, a load of web pages. I read the helpful feedback on my blog and on other blogs.

And then I go slightly crazy.

They say being a writer is a lonely business, but once you tentatively reach out to the internet, there are a million voices, all offering advice. I started listening to those voices sometime last week, and now my ears are ringing worse than tinnitus.

So I asked myself, what do I want? And here are my answers, in the order they came to me:

1. I want to make money

2. I want positive feedback from my endeavours

3. I want to write

Now even in my delusional state I know that those three things are in the wrong order, and actually the middle one shouldn’t be there at all.

I know that the only way to write anything worth reading is to do it because you are passionate about it, not for financial gain.

I know that if you rely on glowing reviews to give you confidence you are destined to be miserable forever.

I know that very very few people make a living out of writing.

I know all those things as facts, but I cannot change the way I feel. I cannot still the voice that wants those three things. And because those three things are, essentially, mutually exclusive, I am frozen.

Do I go back to attempting to write Mills & Boon, as the way most likely to provide an income, if I can hit upon the style of writing they are happy with?

Do I sign up to a course, such as the HTRYN that has been recommended to me, to beat my current WIP into shape, fixing all the things I know that are wrong with it, such as lack of a decent main character (It needs  lots of work to be the novel I know it can be)?

Do I tidy my novel up around the edges and keep sending it out to agents, hoping to get lucky because, hey, I’ve read a lot worse?

Or do I pack it all in for another year, as I did when my son was born, and focus instead on being the Mummy I should be, rather than the Writer I want to be?

I have no answers.

In the meantime, I will keep making butterflies. At least the kids agreed, when they got home, that they are pretty.

One thought on “Making Butterflies

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