Blogging, Writing

Full-Time Writer (Trial Period)

So, I have recently stumbled upon the opportunity to discover what it might be like if I could make enough money doing what I love.  In other words, I lost my job.  I have decided that I will take one week and act just as if writing were my full-time occupation.  I will work an eight hour day, Monday through Friday, and I will concentrate on the various projects that have recently been shoved to the side because of my stress over my job. 

I feel good about this little venture.  I know that it won’t be permanent (unfortunately, my husband and I do not make enough money for me to sit at home all day), but it will give me a taste of what life might be like for me one day.  It’s an exciting prospect.

I’m also a little uneasy.  After all, I know how I operate.  I start something wonderful and at first I am completely gung ho about it.  I throw myself into what ever project I’ve decided to do and I just go to town.  Then, when that “new project” smell has faded away after a few days, I generally tend to, well, forget about it.  I don’t really give up, per say (such a nasty phrase, “give up”).  It’s as if the wonderful idea that I had just a few short days ago is just gradually shoved down the totem pole by the next brilliant idea and the next and the next, until it’s so far down that I forget I ever had the idea in the first place.  Trust me, many the diet and fitness routine has gone that route and it is not a pretty picture when I realize what I’ve done.  The self-loathing knows no bounds.

However, I believe that this might be just a tad different.  First of all, I have a set amount of time committed to the project.  I will commence this little experiment on Monday, September the 14th and end it promptly on Friday, September the 18th.  The timeline itself is a bonus because I have something concrete to work towards instead of the goal of “forever and ever”.  And the relatively short length of time means that the “new project” smell will not have completely faded away before it is time to end the venture (hopefully, fingers crossed).  Also, I have absolutely nothing better to do for that week.  As I said, I have no job, and I can’t start looking for one until after Sept. 27th (I’m going to Las Vegas with my husband.  Yay!).  So actually this project will keep me from losing my mind to boredom.  That is incentive in and of itself.  And lastly, this isn’t something that I  HAVE to do or I’ll hate myself for all time.  There are a lot of writers who write and have jobs.  I might be one of those writers and I might not.  I’ll never know until I try it both ways.  And I much rather try it for a week and discover that I love it, than decide to do it forever and discover that I hate it.

So wish me luck everyone!  I’ll be sure to let you know if  it all goes well (or not).  We’ll see!

Blogging, Writing

Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Rejection?

I live in the world of horror known as “the unpublished author”.  Last month, I sent out two stories for contests, stories which I consider to be the best I’ve written.  I’ve polished and shined, cut and added, thrown out and started over on these two until they could not be made any better.  I’ve received favorable feedback from my husband, my mom, my writing instructor, my friends online, even people I work with at the bank.  There is nothing else that I know to do except send them out into the world and let them be judged by those that take it upon themselves to paste together the gloriously glossy pages that we call “literary magazines”.

I waited on pins and needles, constantly checking my email for any kind of a response to my brave act, dreaming of the day that the email would come that would read something like this:

Dear Mrs. Johnson,

We are pleased to inform you that your story has been selected as the winner of (insert contest here) and we would be happy to publish it in our esteemed pages.  Congratulations, you have toiled through the muck and mire, ridden the roller coaster of anticipation and defeat, and come out the other side victorious.  You, madam, may now call yourself a Published Author.  Where may we send your check?

And the emails did come.  But they did not read exactly how I imagined they would.  They were more along the lines of “Sorry, this game piece is not a winner.  Please play again soon!”

When I finally received confirmation that my two darling pieces of fiction had been unceremoniously dumped, I took a moment to reflect on it.  Where had I gone wrong?  Did I need to rewrite yet again?  Were they too short?  Too long?  Too skinny?  Too fat?  Should I just dump them in the little icon called “Recycle Bin” and forget they ever existed?  Would I be eighty and still not be published?  These thoughts and many like them flitted through my mind as I stared at my inbox, my fleeting hopes of success thoroughly dashed.  I stared for a good five seconds.

And then I picked myself up, dusted off my jeans and got right back in line for the next roller coaster ride.  Because there’s really nothing else I can do.  Someday, I’ll write the perfect story, match it with the right editor, send it at just the right moment and maybe, just maybe, get that dream letter in my mailbox.  Until then, I’ll just keep plugging along.  Because I’m not afraid of the big, bad Rejection.  After all, Stephen King got rejected.  So, in a way, if I get rejected too, that means I’m just like Stephen King!  Right?