Am I a writer

I write for a living.

I write for fun.

But am I a writer yet?

I don’t feel like I am and yet I have a problem trying to improve myself as a writer.

I finally took the time today to go through the MANY saved pins on my Pinterest Writing board. I love what I am finding.

Story outlines, resources, tips, encouragement, everything is there for me.

Yet, I cannot make myself use it.

I feel like I am starting in the middle of something. I do not feel like I’m on the Go space. I feel like there is so much more I have to go through before I am worthy of all this new gold mine of information. I feel like I have not dug far enough.

A shout out to the Eva Deverell and Lady Writers League (Eva Deverell: http://eadeverell.com The Lady Writers League: http://ladywritersleague.com). I just signed up for her emails and I already love her work to help writers flourish.

Her first emails asked these questions:

“Have you secretly LONGED to write a novel but didn’t know where to start?

Maybe you even had an idea, but as soon as you sat down to write, you found that you couldn’t transfer that idea onto the page?

Or perhaps you got partway through a novel and then realised something was wrong and you couldn’t figure out how to fix it?”

You are not alone, she says, and that has made me feel a little better.

So what is the solution to my problem?

Looking at why this is happening, many things come into play:

Fear of course is the biggest thing. Feeling lazy is another one.

Combine the both of them and it is a rather daunting task to look at the novels on my shelf and want to create one of my own.

I guess time and hardwork will tell.

I’ll do it when…

I’ll do it when I have more time. It’s always my excuse.

Talking about writing. I’ll do it when I’m not working a job I hate.

Finally working a job I love. I’ll do it when I’m not writing so much.

I respect people who battle their own minds. I can never seem to will that battle with mine.

I wish I had that drive people have. I’ve already come to forgone conclusion that I don’t have any drive in me.

You already know I’m a procrastinator. I’ve almost seemed to have been that when it comes to working this new found job that I love. As soon as I start, you can’t stop me.

It’s the starting that is the problem.

Wait, scratch that.

I guess I can’t say it’s a problem. There has not been a time yet that I haven’t made a paper deadline or been late with too many stories. I’ve left some on the sidelines so I could trying polishing the rest but I haven’t been to the point where I didn’t have more than enough of my work to go around.

But that is work. That is getting paid to write. That is doing the job I love and having something else drive me.

That has been another ‘I’ll do it when…’.

When I get paid to write fiction; brilliant, brilliant fiction, then I’ll work harder. Then I will have more drive. Then I will…

If not know, when? When will the ‘doing it when’s stop?

How I got here

I did not get here on my own.

I got here through the help and caring of others.

I got here on the support of amazing family and selfless friends.

I got here through people giving of their time and energy.

I got here on other people’s advice and kind words.

BUT….

I also got here riding out people’s harsh criticisms and battering remarks.

I got here even after I trusted people who never wanted me to succeed.

I will overcome those who don’t think I deserve to be here.

I am done believing those whom only want to see me fail.

Because of who got me here, I know the difference between those building me up and those knocking me down.

I will respect everyone’s opinions of me but that doesn’t mean I will take their words as gospel.

Because of who got me here, I will help and care for others trying to get to their here.

I will be there with advice and kind words. I will give of my time and energy.

Because if everyone helps everyone else get there, we will reach a world where no one will be lost.

 

Tell them a story

So cover letters…

Everyone hates them; the people who write them, the people who have to read them, EVERYBODY.

I have written so many cover letters in the last year but it didn’t help me get to a place where I even enjoyed reading my own cover letter, let alone getting me a job somewhere I want to work.

So writing one tonight, I realized that I didn’t give one piece of interesting information about myself in my cover letter.

I went through my educational background, my skills and training, the places I worked and volunteered but I never gave them very little about me.

Then I realized:

You want to become a storyteller, tell them a story.

So this time, I started off with a bit of a story. I talked about walking past the building and knowing I wanted to work there, the affect the organization has had on me over the years, this dream I’ve always had to work with the organization. It gave the cover letter somewhere on a map to begin. I hope someone reads that and sees the wide eyed women starring through the window and dreaming about being one of them.

They say someone who is looking to hire you looks spends 10 seconds reading your cover letter. If you don’t give them something of value, your cover letter won’t last past the average time and will put tossed aside into the mountain of other people who are fighting you for that position.

Give more of yourself. Maybe they will like who they meet.

Happy when writing

Bring it on, bad days.

Give me your shitty talks with supervisors and screwing up paperwork every 10 minutes.

Give me shitty customers with no respect of us minimum wage people who make up 90 percent of the work force who of course have nothing better to do than deal with your shitty problems while ruining our day in the process.

Give me the 13 day work weeks with no overtime pay because overtime starts at 48 hours, not 40.

Give me stocking shelves for 5 hours straight, while your eyes start to cross, your shoulders hurt and hey, haven’t I picked up this same box of band aids 15 times because the stupid box is so misshapen that it keeps on falling over and falling over and falling over.

Give me every condescending tone and obvious statement that people think I need to hear.

A couple of my favourites; you just have to be more careful, it’s easy you just have to put this box here or you know it would be better if you did it this way.

You can give me all these things and I will understand that this is not forever. I may have to repeat this blessed mantra to myself every five seconds to keep myself from going insane and driving a pen through someone’s eye socket but deep down, I know.

Give me all of this and I know I’ll be okay, because I know who I want to be.

I cling to that, hold it tight to my chest and will it to stay with me.

Somedays I’m holding on tighter than yesterday but give me one email pitching a story and I am back in the game.

Give me one interview with that guy about that thing and I feel that drive again. That reason I went to school for this. That reason I stay up until 3 am just to make a deadline. That rush of typing that last sentence and knowing that the work is going to pay off.

You can give me all that bull shit because I will go home and be able to write about it. Put my feelings down on the screen and feel like I am creating something. I’ll pound away on that keyboard until my fingers ache and my hands are stiff and know that all this will keep on going.

No matter who pays my bills, no matter how exhausted I am by the end of the day, no matter how many shitty people come into my life, I’m going to pick up my laptop, open those emails, search for those stories, talk to those people and stop at nothing to make it all right.

Stop at nothing for the day when I can quit and live off something that I love.

The pounding on the keyboard,

The 3 am writing sessions,

The chats with strangers,

Those glorious deadlines.

I love it all.

Life Without Kids

So I am 27.

Career focused and in a wonderful relationship that allows for this.

Being my age, I also have a lot of friends who are at the point of having kids.

Thanks to Facebook, I get to see all these happy people and their beautiful children, many whom I love.

And shows me what I am missing.

Thank you, Facebook for showing me all the pregnancy pictures, hospital photos, endless baby pictures. Then you have the walking, pooping and sickness statuses.

I can tell my women friends are happy. That is evident in these endless posts since they wouldn’t be doing it if they weren’t happy.

My boyfriend and I have talked about it and we want kids. My boyfriend also wants me to concentrate on becoming the best journalist I can be. So why do I let the endless posts about babies and spit-up make me question that.

It also makes me wonder, can I have both.

I see a future of traveling to interesting places and talking to interesting people.

Can I become the best journalist I can be while also being the best parent I can be. Will my best be enough on either fronts?