This question was asked of me recently. My off hand answer was ‘yes’.
The true answer is much more complicated than that. The sarcastic spirit in me wanted to ask in return, ‘Does breathing keep you busy?’
Life without breathing? Not possible. Same without writing for me; breathing/writing, interchangeable.
It isn’t a matter of busy. It is a matter of having the time to study and work. I unfortunately frustrate myself by chasing goals and letting myself become preoccupied by obligations instead of putting my craft at the top priority. That I did to myself, again.
Having taken a course of study that required dedication to progress and accomplish, I learned what dedication means. My own self doubt has given me the easy out in being wishy washy with my writing, studying and effort. Not that the last couple years passed without lessons learned. I am constantly learning. Most knowledge gained has been about voice, style, and a tidbit about genre. Niche and finding it perplexed me.
I am an analytical soul. I like to dissect and put things in categories and boxes. Not being able to discern my own predominant style was the ultimate brick wall head bang. Without being too long winded, let me just say in time we will all see. The proof is in the end result. Not what I say or decide now. That could change as my skill improves.
It will be a while before the next children’s book. There will be five, as of right now. When? Can’t honestly say. What is going on now? A group of eight short stories that will be under J. Kolb. My way of distinguishing if you are picking up a child suitable story or mature audiences. As a parent and grandparent, that line of distinction is important to me.
First drafts are finished in four, working on the fifth as of this moment. Three more concepts to go waiting in the wings. There are two stories that have enough beyond the short story category to be worked on for novels down the line. Interspersed in there will be the children’s stories. Eclectic is way more my style.
I had planned on being back at the prescribed course of study this spring. Something more than one person told me to study on my own and not get caught up on the piece of paper pursuit. Begrudgingly, those are people that have some first hand knowledge about me personally. They are probably spot on about that. My own self study is pretty intense when I take the time to do so.
So, while it was a flippant answer I gave – yes, writing does keep me busy. Very happily so, it pleases, and fulfills me. This is not just what I do, it is who I am. I write.