Becoming a Writer or Abandoning Hope

12 Apr

I am tired today, so tired. Spending the weekend in an emotional twister wore me out more than anything else. We had a super busy Saturday full of too much driving, road food, and bad choices on my part. I pulled things back together on Sunday, but not by much. I don’t do well under this kind of stress. Thankfully, Aaron and I had a long talk last night about what I should do to figure out this whole “what am I doing” mid-life crisis sort of mess.

We talked and we thought and we talked some more, and we decided that I need to focus on one thing at a time. It’s not something I am good at doing, and I have to constantly remind myself not to let my focus drift. The other hurdle for me is that I am inherently lazy. No, really. I have a hard time following through with things, moving beyond the starting stages of whatever big scheme I’ve come up with. It drives me insane, and I spend a lot of time wishing I could just suck it up, buckle down, and find something to do with my life that will work for the long term.

Thanks mostly to Aaron’s unique ability to keep me calm and in control, I managed to pull myself back and away from a massive, self-destructive spiral of giving up and doing nothing. Great coping mechanism, huh? When things get really tough, that’s sort of what I do. I start making bad choices, mostly involving food and money. I spend a lot of time and McDonalds and shopping online with credit cards. And I do nothing else. I don’t keep working toward my goals because it’s just too much for me to even think about them. This time, Aaron is being strict with me (per my request) and not letting that happen. I am going to keep pushing, keep working, and make something work for me.

Step 1: I will spend the next two months focused on writing. It is the thing that will make me the happiest by far, and will keep me home with Evi. So for the next two months, starting today, I will be doing everything I can to cobble together a career from writing. I will be blogging, working hard to increase traffic to the websites I already write for, and submitting articles to every publication I can find that will take new submissions. If, after two months of the hardest work I can manage, I don’t see a significant return on investment, I will have no choice but to leave behind the idea of being a writer. It doesn’t mean that I will never write again, but it does mean that it will move back to being a hobby, something that I do on the side while I focus my major efforts on something else.

What will that something else be? Aah… this is the thing I do which Aaron refers to as “borrowing trouble.” For now, my assignment is to not think about the what-ifs and what’s-nexts. For now, I need to focus on writing, on producing stellar content and getting it out there for the world to see. I need to think about the here, now, today of it all and forget about the long term for a while. I am terrified that I don’t have it in me to focus on writing for a solid two months, to give it the attention and work that it deserves, but I am going to try as hard as I can, and every morning start out reminding myself that not only is this what makes me happy, but working hard to make it happen could benefit my family as well.

So if you’re a writer, making any kind of money doing it, I need your advice. What should my first steps be? What should I be doing to maximize this time I’ve given myself? And for clarification, I’m not expecting to be famous or well paid at the end of two months, which I know is not a particularly long time. I am just looking for signs that continued effort would bring the benefits I’m looking for (i.e. money) in time to help my family financially. We have a little bit of time for me to figure this out, but not forever. At some point soon, I am going to need to bring in some money on a steady basis, enough to pay some of our bills. So I need this trail period to show me that writing can do that for me.

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2 Responses to “Becoming a Writer or Abandoning Hope”

  1. Tara April 12, 2010 at 8:22 am #

    This maybe totally random and Aaron may yell at me, but have you thought about photography? Maybe as an inbetween to make money until your writing takes off (which it totally will because it is fabulous). You are so talented at getting amazing pictures, with children, weddings, etc…Just a thought.

  2. Lydia April 28, 2010 at 7:49 am #

    Good luck! Sadly with me, money and the internet is a one way street, so I can’t offer you any advice there. I hope that these two months bring you some spectacular results. Fingers crossed.

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