|Don’t forget to see the forest, it’s not just the trees! – photo by Kenneth Baruch|
Being a writer and writing is wonderful; planning to try and survive from writing alone is also great. However, before that happens, we all need some other means of survival, that is, we need to do something and earn money. And, of course, there could also be health issues (ours or of someone we care for), there’s purchasing groceries, doing laundry, cooking, and all the other household tasks which need to be done. It is very possible to get carried with one thing, such as finding a way to earn money, preferably by doing something you like, and to forget what was the goal: writing.
Sure, if I’m to be a writer, I need to stay alive, that is, to avoid starving to death, so earning money is important. And various other tasks do need to get done. But it’s far too easy to get carried in numerous other things and to forget to write. To forget what was the main goal, and what was the big picture. Like not seeing the forest for the trees, all these trees you keep bumping into or avoiding them and forgetting there was actually an entire forest around you.
In January, I lost my regular income which I was earning by writing articles. A friend found me a novel to translate from Croatian to English, but that was only a temporary solution. Then I started translating for a publishing house – it was my first time to translate an entire novel from English to Serbian. I didn’t know if I’d be good enough. I didn’t know if they were going to like it – if they did, they might give me novels to translate on regular basis, but what if they didn’t?
While translating, and doing various small tasks, and worrying, I was barely writing. And one day I realized that. The novel was almost translated. After a day’s work of translation, I was tired. But I remembered I should be writing, remembered some ideas I had, and wrote some short stories.
Now I keep writing. I have some plans – a ghost story collection, a collection of Sf/fantasy stories about others and human relationship with what they perceive as the Other (Cold is one of those stories, only in Serbian version), and I’m also thinking about a third story collection, the one gathering all my stories about cats. And there’s this idea about a non-fiction book about cats which went through my life.
I’m not writing all of that at once, but I am writing stories for the ghost story collection and for the Other collection. The third one will come out of these two and of my first story collection, the published one, and the non-fiction…. I’ll write that one too, at some point.
Most important, I intend not to forget to write again. Because writing is my forest, and I want it to be a big, enjoyable one, not something that shrivels and dies. I’m not quite sure yet how I’m going to achieve that not-forgetting, but I’ll do it.
And hopefully see a plenty of my books published.