Would You Still Write?

This is a guest post by author M.K. Chester

M.K Chester is the author of historical, contemporary and dystopian romantic fiction. She enjoys complex characters, themes of redemption and happy endings. Her life revolves around family, friends and her Scottish Terrier, Stewart Little

Recently, my sweet husband asked whether I would still write if I knew I’d never be published again, if I knew that no one else would read a word or sentence I produced. That’s a tough question for any creative person and honestly, it was much easier to answer before I’d been published. This time, I paused and really had to think about the question.

Back then, before career, marriage and kids, the answer was a resounding “yes”. Those things change your perspective in lots of interesting ways, especially for women (but maybe I’m biased). As many know, there’s more details to keep up with, less time for yourself. More of them and less of you to make “we”. If you do write, maybe the time is not consistent or you steal time from other things, like your day job. At some point, there’s an agreement you make, a deal with yourself that once there’s time to recover some ticks of the clock for yourself, nothing will stop you.

And then finally, that day comes. You don’t know what to do with yourself. Maybe you’ve forgotten how you used to do it, that writing thing. Maybe you start questioning whether you can even remember how to do it. Maybe you fear you can’t do it, that the years have stolen something you can’t get back. And then there’s other, technical issues. You haven’t updated your website in forever and what are all these new social media outlets? Where do you advertise, if you have books out there, what’s the best strategy? Will those things cost a fortune? Things in publishing have changed quickly, it will take a while to catch up, right?

The truth is that none of that really has anything to do with sitting down and putting thoughts, characters, plot, WORDS on paper, virtual or otherwise. Those are excuses, roadblocks thrown up by your own mind to detour or roadblock you from reconnecting with the thing you truly love, the thing that makes you feel meaningful and complete. Recognize those thoughts for what they are. Lies.

Because the answer is still YES. Yes, even if no one else ever reads a word. Even if no publisher ever wants to put out what I write. Especially yes, even if it’s just for me. Because that’s how this all started, as something just for me. Something that makes me happy and somehow, someway, makes me a better person to live with and be around. So my best advice to those who, like me, now find themselves with ample time to re-start, get back to it, or are wandering in a fog, waiting for something to happen is to write. Start where you are and go. Go slow, go fast, but go.

I know one thing: writing makes me happy and I need to write to be my best self. Bar nothing. Without looking back and wondering if anything could have been different, I’m moving forward with writing as an integral part of my life. Even if. It’s part of who I am.