I'm going to take a brief break from obsessing over my query letter to talk about what I do as a day job. For those of you who haven't taken a look at my bio, I am a historic preservationist when I'm not writing. Essentially, I am a qualified architectural historian (by virtue of my educational background and work experience).
I thought it would be interesting to talk about this today because the National Trust for Historic Preservation has released its annual 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. Take a look if you are so inclined. I think you might be surprised by some of the places listed. Everything from an industrial plant to a modern masterpiece, but as you will see, historic preservation isn't just about buildings. It's also about landscapes. Even with rampant development, America still retains many key historical settings. One of the criteria for listing a building in the National Register of Historic Places is does it retain its setting? So for instance, a historic farmhouse that no longer has its original acreage and has a Wal-Mart in the backyard would most likely not get listed because the setting no longer conveys the historical importance of the house.
But the upside is that if I had not been so frustrated, I don't think I would have committed myself to writing. I've always been a writer, but it was not until recently that I really hunkered down and challenged myself to write better and to write until I finished. As I begin to explore the notion of leaving the field that has been my passion (and pain), I think I will be relying on my ability to write all the more. I suppose I will just have to see where that leads me.
So...what does writing mean to you? Do you write to escape? Or do you have other motivations?