On Honesty in Blogging, Part 1

Posted by on Dec 1, 2008 in Writing | 4 comments

This blog, it’s supposed to be an honest reflection of my writing life. It’s supposed to highlight my thoughts on craft, my fiction-writing trials and tribulation, my bumpy road toward publication. I thought my blog might inspire other fledgling novelists. I thought it might inspire because I was optimistic that the low points would be the run-of-the-mill frustrations. I even count the literary-agent setback in that category because it’s a common story.

But now, I’m in a bad way, a very bad way, and here’s where it’s hard to be honest. It’s making my soul clench to have to write this — and maybe I want to cry just a little — but I honestly don’t know if publication is going to happen for me. I might have to quit my dream, or at least sideline it for a long while. But sidelining it feels like quitting.

I feel weak and fearful right now. I’m not used to feeling like this. I don’t like it.

I thought I’d be well on my way toward publication by now. I had two years worth of stored money (most of it by way of the writing grant mentioned in the sidebar) to see me safely through to a contract. Hah–that’s VERY optimistic, I know. I thought at the very least, no problem, because I’ve never had trouble finding part-time freelance work.

The reason this post is difficult to write is because it’s all about money. Every struggling artist’s nemesis. Who likes to be honest about that? It’s yucky.

I’m in a bad, bad way. I had money to last me until July 2009. I had two freelance jobs lined up for right know, lucrative jobs that would help fill the coffers so I could continue on past July 2009 in this writing life of mine. Who knew when I quit my job in July 2007 that everything would go to hell?

The freelance jobs never happened. The bad economy sucked them dry as well as most of my remaining grant money.

I realized my dire financial straits this morning. It hit me like a massive coronary. And since the optimal freelance jobs have dwindled, I found myself looking at ACTUAL JOB ads within my previous career: technical writing.

Ugh, I’m getting so depressed thinking about this–I’ll continue my train of thought tomorrow.

4 Comments

  1. Lisa, I am so sorry. I am a former technical writer and I know how soul-draining it can be. Unfortunately, at the same time it is lucrative. I hope you can find a way to work and still write that is satisfying and pleasing to you. Just know that there is support here.

  2. Thanks so much, Charlotte. I have to remind myself that I am one of the lucky ones with a marketable skill — I do have something to fall back on. And this is good!

  3. Lisa, I got hooked on the HBO show “The Wire” a couple of years ago. One thing I kept repeating that the characters always said was “You feelin’ me?” Sounds stupid, but I just loved going around saying that. Well, I’m feelin’ you. I had a screenplay that was oh-so-close to being made into a film, then everything went to the crapper. Then my husband, who has supported us on his modest income, wasn’t getting much work. So, in addition to taking a break, I went back to work and the economy was already starting to slide…These are hard times. Harder when you feel like your dreams are being stolen from you. Whatever you do, don’t give up! Please don’t. You’re allowed to be depressed and whine about it.

  4. Thanks mari. I’m sorry to hear about your screenplay — ARGH! — and I hope you’re not giving up either!

    And, that’s exactly the way to phrase it: Dreams being stolen from us — exactly what it feels like at times. But, we don’t have to let that happen, do we?

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