Sunday, 4 March 2012

To The Flags

When we lived in North Cyprus,  my husband and I decided one day to walk to the flags. These were huge flags, one Turkish, one North Cypriot (a flag recognized in precisely one country -- Turkey) and I was sure we could reach them if we just kept walking.  My husband, a pessimist, didn't think it was possible, and as we labored up the hill, I began to think he might be right. The road curved and twisted and spiraled, and it went up and down. Sometimes the flags looked like they were right around the corner; sometimes it looked as though the road we were on was taking us in the opposite direction. Then, almost an hour after we set out, we turned a corner and saw that we had reached the flags--we were there. And yet there was another road that zig-zagged away, up through the mountains, and I knew that the flags were just the first point of a much longer destination, and that one day we would have to come back and see where that road led.

I started this blog back in 2007, mainly because I'd always wanted to write, but also because I had nothing better to do. My husband and I had sold our small business, after which we could not find teaching jobs in our small town. We were in a difficult situation: virtually broke and missing intellectual stimulation, but reluctant to go to a new place with better teaching opportunities; we didn't want to put our children through the trauma of another move. So my husband did what he could: he found a job delivering packages. I did legal typing, applied for every secretarial job within a 30-mile radius, and took care of my family. And when I could, I wrote. I believe that writing kept me sane during that period.

Having a blog has been a great discipline and experience, and it has helped me meet so many interesting people who have given me so much. Someday I want to be able to do what these people have done for me:  to help other beginners find their way, deal with the frustration of endless rejections, and generally learn all the things you have to learn to be a good writer.  One of the things I have learned is that there is no pinnacle, no end point. Even if you publish something big and manage to become a bestselling author, you just keep going, keep writing, keep trying to get even better. 

This may or may not be my last blog post, but whatever the case, I won't be able to spend so much time here: I've been lucky enough to find almost more work than I can do teaching English and Japanese, proofreading, editing, and, especially, writing. I am writing this to explain why I'm disappearing:  I have so little free time now that I have to spend it on writing. I've made it to the flags, but I want to aim higher.

So thank you to everybody who has come here to read what I've written and to comment. I have loved reading your comments and your blog posts as well, and I hope to meet you again -- at the flags, perhaps, or beyond.