From Sarah, With Joy

*Poet * Author * Wanderluster*

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What are you willing to sacrifice for writing?

This has been on my mind quite a bit lately. The past year or so, especially the last month, has been, shall we say, interesting. The goal of having a writing career, and the thought that everything is pointing towards that, for that cause, has kept me sane more than anything else. Well, that and some freakin awesome friends.

I'm old enough to have some regrets, now. I wish I had been smarter about doing a double-major or even a minor to help support my writing habits. I know a girl who's doing English with a deaf studies minor so she can work as a translator while she writes books. Why wasn't I smart enough to do something like that? Most of all I wish I had worked out graduate school immediately after graduating. This year of not being in school has been in and of itself a very educational experience in and of itself, but it's been difficult. I've learned a lot about life and myself and what I actually want.

Which is why I am registered to take the GRE on Saturday. I'm still probably looking at one more year of not school, and this is where the sacrifice for writing thing comes in. Another year trying to survive financially, trying to keep building a writing career on my own, is terrifying. I used to be such an adventurer, and so fearless. I don't know what changed, but I definitely don't feel fearless anymore. Even the thought of graduate school--moving away to a totally strange place and living with all brand new people--is also terrifying.

But there are certain things we just have to do, despite our terror. I'm finally getting at least a little used to that idea, which ironically makes the terror a little less acute. And the thought that makes it all worth it, is that I'm doing it to move towards a writing career. Neil Gaiman's mountain analogy has given me the mental metaphors and imagery to put things back into perspective.

It has definitely been a roller-coaster, and I definitely don't see smooth sailing for a while, but right now that's okay, and things feel good. Is it strange that having the GRE to study for has made me feel quite a bit better about things? I'm not so sure I'm good at real life just yet, but school I can manage. I know how to be a student. And I love it and miss it.

You guys have been supportive and encouraging through my unstable life for a long time now, and it makes all the difference. We still have a while to go, but not so long, I hope. I feel like I'm pushing at the gates of about twenty different roads, the publishing road, graduate school, all sorts of different jobs, and we'll see which ones let me through, which ones fuse shut, which ones I just have to keep pushing. Something will happen, and soon, and I will try to look at it as an adventure.

And I'll be writing every step.

Sarah Allen


  1. This is the scary part of life. I've given up hours and clientele to work on my writing. My paycheck has went to a lot less. I'm actually pinching pennies. The thought at the time was my peeps would come in on the days I worked but they want me at their disposal. Saturday, I was offered a better paying job but its 14 miles away from home and I'm not so sure I want to take it because I'll lose more clientele.
    I know how you feel. I wish God would just make it clear what direction we're supposed to take in our lives.

  2. You'll find your way. I'm still in the middle of transitioning from a full-time job to grad school, which I did partly so that I could write. But I also give up parts of my social life, because this writing thing is important to me. My friends don't really understand it and it's hard to balance their feelings sometimes, but I know it's what I want to do.

  3. Best of luck with your GRE. I've been looking into graduate school myself, so I might end up writing that as well, depending on where I decide to study. Right now, I'm taking the year off to focus on my writing. The first half has been thus far spent on getting actual words on paper, and the next half should see me doing everything I can to put my writing out there.

    Whatever happens though, I'll be sure to keep putting words on paper. I pray that God works everything out for you. :)

  4. I wish I could tell you that it gets easier...

    Life is about risks and having too much to do and not enough time to do it in. Always.

    That being said, I think it is possible to do keep many aspects of your life alive. If you are working on grad school AND writing, that could totally work.

    I work full time and write as much as I can. 10 books later, it still kind of works for me.

    And Sarah, you are the kind of person who does not wait for success, you MAKE it happen. You will be awesome!


  5. i hope you do what you want and are destined to do!

  6. Oh, I'd hoped someone else would have asked, but what is GRE?

  7. Good luck with the GRE. The Graduate Records Exam.

  8. I wouldn't worry so much about what you did or didn't study in college. Of all the people I know, maybe one currently has a job directly related to what he studied. I just studied what interested me and didn't sweat the rest. My wife didn't even finish college. There are ways and means around every obstacle, no matter how big or small.

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  10. Keep pushing those gates girl! You're awesome and you're SO CLOSE to that writing career. Good luck with everything :)


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