Doubt / by Kenneth Buff

Crippling doubt. Every writer feels it sometimes. I think every person does. I doubt a lot of things. Mostly about myself and the decisions I'm making. Not so much my abilities. I know what I'm good at and where my interests lie, but my problems come when it's time to decide what to do with those interests and strengths.

I'm afraid that no matter what decision I make I'll have to sacrifice something that I'll later wish I hadn't sacrificed. I'm afraid that if I pick a career that pays well it will eat into my time for family and writing (though the job I have now already does), and I'm afraid that if I decide to stay at home or work part time that I'll feel a crippling guilt for not contributing to the family, and that we'll "miss out" on all the things Americans want (house, new car, etc.). I write this because I'm at a point in my life where I have to make this decision. And choosing not to decide is also a decision, if a somewhat less active one.

Life will go on either way, but what that life looks like will be different, and wish I knew which one would suit myself and my family better. Because currently neither my wife nor I have a high paying career (both teachers), and we both accumulated a lot of debt in college, so having one of us stay home on a low income just doesn't make sense if we want to get out of our apartment and into a house, keep the car we recently purchased, and afford the cost that comes with being parents. It's a tough choice, but one I have to make.

One thing I can say, is that no matter what decision I make, my writing will not stop. Even now, with a job that I often work late into the evening preparing for the next day, I still find time to continue working on my next novel or story (just finished a new short story I hope to have edited and published before Christmas). Because that goal hasn't changed. I'm three years into my ten year plan. Can't stop now.