I’m passionate about writing, and I have been for years. I’ve been actively writing for almost five years now, and I’m getting ready to publish my debut novel next month.
But earlier this year, in January, I began actively pursuing something else I was excited about: my lifestyle blog, Peaches & Palmettos. Soon, I found myself spending less and less time with my fiction writing, and when I realized that, guilt began to weigh me down.
Something you should probably know about me is that I struggle with time-management every single day. I work full-time (forty hours a week), I’m a wife, and I’m a dog-mom to two very active dogs — Goose and Poppy.
Writing a novel and publishing it was already a big enough challenge, but I added something else to my plate when I decided to start actively blogging about my life in Charleston, South Carolina. When I started dedicating more time to my blog, I naturally spent less time on my writing. I procrastinated my final editing. I stopped posting as often on my writing Instagram account. I sadly neglected my critique partner. And, as I said before, I was overwhelmed with guilt because I felt as if I had abandoned my writing and my writing friends almost completely.
But at the same time, I was enjoying my newfound blogging circle. I was making friends and attending events, and I was happy when I was working on my blog and creating content. I didn’t know what to do. Conflicted and unsure of how to proceed, I turned to a friend for advice. More specifically, I turned to my critique partner, Peggy.
Peggy and I have talked about writer’s guilt before—feeling as if we should be doing more, mainly because we see other writers who seem to be doing it all. But this was different for me. I felt as if I was abandoning some big part of myself (at least temporarily) but also embarking on an exciting new adventure that was opening up so many possibilities for me. After talking to my CP extensively about this particular issue, I came to one conclusion, and I want to share it with you.
It’s okay to be passionate about more than one thing.
Got that? Need me to repeat it? I said, it’s okay to be passionate about more than one thing. I can write fiction and a lifestyle blog. I can juggle both. Yes, it means working even harder to manage my time. It means that I have to learn when to say “no” to different event invitations so I can stay home and work on my book. But it’s okay. It’s okay to love writing and blogging. I have to keep telling myself that, and I want to make sure you know that it’s perfectly okay to be passionate about more than one thing. As creative individuals, I think it’s totally normal! Maybe you love your day job and you love writing, so you’re not one of those people who wants to leave his or her job to pursue writing full-time. Maybe you’re an artist and you love to create artwork as well as write novels. Whatever the case, good for you! Pursue what makes you happy, even if it means you take a temporary break from your writing.
Since I’ve had this realization, I’ve started spending more intentional focus on my writing Instagram. I’ve gotten much more focused on my publishing process (my debut novel will be available on Amazon on July 26th, 2019) as well as thinking about the next book I’ll be working on. I’m still blogging actively—staying pretty busy with it, actually. I have made one big decision, however; sometime this summer, I want to merge my two Instagram accounts because I think that will help me manage my time a little better. I’ve just got a lot of details to work out about the merger, and if you have any tips about that, I would appreciate them!
In conclusion, I just want to tell you (one more time) that if you’re passionate about more than just writing, it’s 100% okay. You should never feel guilty or angry with yourself about doing something you love (unless that something is physically or mentally bad for you). Chase your dreams, even if you have multiple ones that are very different from each other. Just know that you might have to work longer hours and focus on managing your time even more. I know I definitely do!
Do what makes you happy. Chase your dreams. I know you can achieve anything you set your mind to, as long as you’re willing to work hard every day.
E. C. Woodham
E.C. Woodham (Emma) is a Charleston, SC-based author of new adult novels. She has been writing stories almost since she learned to spell. Though writing has always been her true passion, she obtained a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a degree in Marketing from Georgia Southern University in 2015. Following graduation, she continued to write and actually wrote her first full draft of a novel while working the late-night shift at the Savannah International Airport.
Woodham has loved the South Carolina Lowcountry since she was a child and vacationed on Edisto Island, SC every summer, but she never imagined that she would end up moving to the Charleston area in 2016.
When she isn’t writing, Emma is working on her Charleston lifestyle blog, Peaches & Palmettos, and exploring Charleston and its extensive restaurant scene with her husband, Ryan, and their two dogs: Goose & Poppy.
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