The demands on my time were endless. I barely had time to breathe much less write. My vacillation on whether to continue writing didn't start there, but it certainly escalated.
With the move, my writing peeps were now a two-hour plane ride away and I didn't have high hopes of finding a tribe in my new location.
The hubs and I had always dreamed about how we would travel Europe once we had the free time. Due to pharmaceutical tethers and an uncooperative carcass, that is unlikely to happen now.
However, living in the land of eternal summer, there are so many things to do and a new social whirl that eats up the time between doctor visits. Not to mention our new 24/7 togetherness. Gone are the twelve to fourteen hour days of alone time with the cats and a laptop. Two workaholics attempting "retirement" is certainly an interesting social experiment.
As a result, I find myself asking: What is the best use of my remaining time?
I have never made a lot of money off my writing. Mainly because marketing and publicity are things I just don't have the passion for. I always joked that I didn't care about fame and didn't need the money. But the truth is, I have a deep-seated dislike for being the center of attention. I have always preferred giving rather than receiving. Although passionate about the topics, I have never been comfortable talking in public and am not a natural teacher. As an INTJ personality type, I have always preferred my intellectual fortress over the messy real world.
What has remained consistent is my love of the work and the desire to help other people. When people tell me I have helped them, it is the greatest compliment.
Last month, I had pretty much decided to walk away from writing entirely. But it isn't that easy. The ideas continue to arrive. The muses bug me every time I am alone: in the shower, at the wheel of the car, sitting in medical waiting rooms. I still love the work. Perhaps it is the addiction, but I find it difficult to stop cold turkey.
I always had the plan to write a workbook for each genre covered in Story Building Blocks I: The Four Layers of Conflict. So this year, I am plunging ahead and adding fourteen genre workbooks to the series. Nonfiction is easy for me.
So I decided that even if I don't make much, it isn't costing me anything but time. I still have the love of work and if I help even one writer it is worth it.
I am not alone in the internal struggle over whether to write for love or money or whether writing is a suitable use of my time if I am not raking in J. K. Rowling's cash.
Writing can be time spent in happy occupation. You can still use your skills to help and entertain other people.
More importantly, with the world in chaos, there has never been a more urgent time for writers to use their voices to make a difference.
Diana Hurwitz is the author of Story Building Blocks: The Four Layers of Conflict, Story Building Blocks II: Crafting Believable Conflict, Story Building Blocks III: The Revision Layers, and the YA adventure series Mythikas Island. Her weekly blog, Game On: Crafting Believable Conflict explores how characters behave and misbehave. Visit DianaHurwitz.com for more information and free writing tools. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.