After the conference, I spent days whittling away at my inbox and last night, I was struck by an email from an old friend.
Despite having two novels do moderately well, my friend was struggling not just with writing but with balancing work with her growing family.She is now a mother of four instead of the small, single child with her first book. She desperately wanted to know how I "did it all."
Let's be honest for one hot minute.
Nobody does it all.
I'm on the board of a few charitable organizations and no one, not a single person does it all.
Even writing, a fairly solitary endeavor, is done by a single person (and if it is, you'll the lackluster craft in a jiffy). There's always an editor or beta reader, somebody other than the author who helps with the polishing act of publication.
Success is never an isolated incident. Someone at some point helped.
I can't do it all.
Let's repeat that so everyone can remember, I can't do it all.
Hence the reason I'm stepping back from Writers of Kern (and the very reason I was hesitant to become president).
I don't want to miss the beauty, the point of living. That's why we write, to articulate the meaning of all that surrounds us. We're the storytellers, the givers of insight and empathy. What might feel like a distraction, might actually be fodder for our writing.
My friend is dedicated to her writing (as we all should be, protect those writing hours like you would a newborn's nap) and just needed affirmation that I am no different. And I'm not. I told her the nitty gritty of everything that has fallen a part in the last few weeks. She'll feel much better at my expense, which I'm more than happy to help in that area.
Just remember, we have a calling. Not just to our craft but to the people who inspire us, who depend on us.
We can't do it all. Nor should we.