I Want to Be a Novelist, Not a Columnist…

Let’s face it: none of us are getting any younger.

I have come to realize lately as my 3 year old is rapidly approaching 4 that I no longer have any “babies” in terms of needing constant care.  Which means I am getting older too.

My dream has been for a while now to be a novelist.  It is what drives me every day to do what I do.

This columnist gig was great but it takes up a lot of my writing time.  Instead of writing on my novel (which gives me an insane amount of joy), I spend time writing my column (which lately has given me little joy).

I put a lot of effort into my columns (like I do here) and the ones I think are good I get no response from the public.  I wrote a really great piece on Thanksgiving basically relating the history of Thanksgiving and how it was originally meant to thank GOD and no one else and how it has all been secularized.

Nothing.  No emails.  No on-line responses.

I write opinion pieces on laws and I get told to go back to where I come from.

I feel I am not impacting anyone.  And I feel God has called me to make an impact.

I have felt this way since the end of September but I pushed forward.  However, I can’t ignore my gut any longer.

With only so much time in the day that is actually mine, I must make cuts.  And this is the first one on the chopping block.

I want to spend as much time with my kids as possible while still pursuing my dreams. Right now, I only have one dream.  And it has nothing to do with a career in newspaper land.

NOTE OF CLARIFICATION:  I am speaking about the column I am writing in my local newspaper, NOT THIS BLOG!  This is a blog, not a column.  Sorry for any confusion!!!

Me? A Columnist?

Thinking perhaps novel writing is not my forte, I contacted the local paper here and asked if they needed writers.  The editor returned my call and asked if I had any experience.  I said,”Nope. I write novels but would be interested in trying something new.” So he asked for a sample.

And he loved it!

I asked my husband what he thought about it.  He reluctantly agreed.  Since it’s a small town and we don’t exactly have a last name like “Smith” or “Johnson”, he was hesitant.  “I guess as long as you don’t get too personal,” he said.

When I first found out, I was excited.  Maybe this is it instead of novels.  I enjoy novels but they are time-consuming.  And apparently I suck at writing them.  Ya know, the whole plotting, character development, the works.

Me: I can’t decide.  I’m with him on some parts.  You all know how I write.  It’s not exactly fluff.  It’s deep, meaningful, and at times vulnerable.

Yet if I’m ever going to have a writing career, I gotta take a risk some time.  After all, readers have to be able to identify with you and if they can’t feel what you’re feeling, then you’ve failed as a writer.  And name recognition goes a long way into getting a novel published.  Look at all the celebrities who get their works published just because of who they are.

So, I thought I’d ask you all your opinions since you all “know” me about as well as anyone.  What do you think?  Should I write for a newspaper or not?