My writing group has an ongoing group private discussion on Facebook. it’s awesome. A while ago we had a conversation that went something like this…
(Helen shared a brilliant cover she was working on for her upcoming book The Eternal)
Me: I’m impressed with your design skills! You could start doing that on the side! (Heh heh….what side?! I think all your sides are taken.)
Helen: Yeah… no more sides. Haha!
Me: Yeah, me either. I mistakenly think I’m a dodecahedron. (Is that a 10-sided shape?)
We went on to discuss other things and then Elaine posted a picture like this…
That’s what I think I am.
A dodecahedron. (And for the record, they have twelve sides.)
Here’s the thing.
My life is pretty full right now. With six kids ranging from one to fifteen, I’m probably in one of the
busiest seasons of my life. But I still have a hard time saying no to people or even saying no to myself. I want to do all the things, be involved in all the things and make and paint and photograph and write about ALL THE THINGS.
And I can’t.
I need to choose. I need to change the shape I think I am.
So, I’m in the process of asking myself two serious (and very hard!) questions.
#1: What do I NEED to do?
#2: What can I give up?
Do you think you’re a dodecahedron, too? If so, how are you changing the shape you think you are?
Erin Shakespear writes middle grade fantasy full of quirky creatures, magic, and strange adventures. With six kids, her days are full of quirky creatures, magic, strange adventures, and…loads of diapers. She also likes to dabble at photography, sewing, jewelry-making, and pretending she’s a grand artist. She is the southern Utah coordinator for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
2 thoughts on “I am NOT a Dodecahedron”
Great post. Years ago I was teaching a group of 16-17 year old girls. The lesson made a point that has always stayed with me. Essentially, it said we can do anything we want in life. We just can't do everything. It came down to prioritizing.
When I started writing a few years ago, I mourned the years that I had wasted earlier in my life by not starting earlier. Just think how much farther I could have grown. But then I looked back over the past 30 years. As I had been struggling to raise my large family and deal with my husband's devastating health issue, there's no way I could have done much with it. If I'd have tried, instead of focusing on my family, I would have shortchanged them and provided myself just one more thing to feel guilty about.
Thanks, but no thanks. I do not regret my choice. Instead, I will make the most of the years I have and learn and practice this writerly craft. And most important of all, I will enjoy the journey.
The dodecahedron! Yay! The real trouble is that you're so talented in so many things. I'm glad writing is one of your sides, my friend. 🙂
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