Editor or Writer?

I’m torn these days. I desperately want to get back to my writing, but I must edit for a living. As an editor, I work with writers to help them fashion the best story or book possible. I read their work and see the magic, and the weaknesses. This is how I make ends meet. Born without a silver spoon, I must earn my living.

But as I work, I wonder. What is my writing like these days? Do I write as powerfully and succinctly as I suggest others write? Am I still capable of telling a compelling story? Do I have a voice that will seduce?

My creative juices are banked to overflowing. How I’d love to have the chance to stop my editing and my writing coaching and concentrate on my own writing. I delight in my job, but I’d love the chance to put earning aside and just live in my imagination for a year.

I know. That’s what all aspiring writers say. Real writers simply do it. So, am I a real writer, or only aspiring (after all these years)?

Tom has a friend who just self-published his first book on Amazon. The first in a series he is writing. My former boss, Cy, also self-published his first book (and I am thrilled that he has). I am helping to prepare a book for Via Lucis Press, which will require writing creativity as well as editing on my part. But it’s not “my” book.

My first novel attempt is a no-go. I’ve waited too long to finish it, and the world has moved past, technology has made the story obsolete, and I simply think it’s time to move on to something else. Every time I think I have the time to write, something else falls into my queue, and I’m off and running with my editing.

I write my blogs (this and my travel blog) to keep my writing skills flexed and honed, and that’s never wasted effort (from a writing standpoint, not necessarily a reader’s standpoint). But it’s time to do more.

As Benjamin Franklin wrote: Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing. I am doing the latter at the moment, but something inside is screaming at me to finally sit down and write. How I wish people still gave patronage to authors and artists and musicians, giving them the means to live while pursuing their art. Those were the days.

To be or not to be, that is the question. As 2014 approaches, do I make a vow to write, to carve out time every day, without fail, to do what I most desire? If not now, when? Livelihood is primary, but writing is vital.

I always congratulate my clients on completing their manuscripts, saying that they’ve climbed Everest and the rest is just editing. Will I, in 2014, congratulate myself?

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