Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Twittascope Almost Got It Right

My Twittascope for the day:

"You may feel as if you have been shortchanged and that something is missing in a relationship. But this can be a reflection of residual childhood longings, especially if you're reminiscing about your family, children or a pet. Exploring memories can be helpful to a point, but letting go of sentimental feelings frees you to find real happiness in the here and now."

Substitute "career" for "relationship" and I'd say that's pretty damn accurate.  I've always dreamed of being an author, for as far back as I can remember.  And I've self-identified as a writer for years even though I've done almost no writing since I got sick.

Lately I've been feeling the pull of the story again.  I have the germ of an idea floating around in my head, and I'm dying to take the time to play with it and see where it goes.  I've love to take Lucy's Discovery class.  If I can pull $180 out my couch cushions, and find a way to not feel guilty about spending it on something like this when my 62 and 70 year old parents are supporting my expensive ass, I am so there.

I've felt this longing for a while now to be writing again.  To be creative.  But not only is my physical and mental state getting in the way, I've been choked with fear.  What if I actually finish my novel this time?  What if I send it off and someone actually wants to publish it?  And then what if Social Security (which I don't even have yet, by the way) decides that publishing one novel counts as "substantial gainful activity" and dumps me?  What the hell am I supposed to do then?

I realize that all this is putting the cart before the horse.  In fact, the cart is so far in front of the horse that the horse can't see it anymore.  In fact, the cart and the horse may actually be travelling in different directions.  But the fear is still paralyzing.  What if I accomplish the one thing I've always dreamed of, and in doing so destroy my ability to medically and financially take care of myself?  Most authors have day jobs, which I can not do.  Once I start, can I produce enough to even minimally support myself if I lose all disability coverage?

If this were a romance novel I'd be the spunky heroine who goes for her dreams no matter what, and in leaping into the void I'd discover my prince charming (who is also a billionaire, possibly Greek, if this is Presents).  He'll stand back, ready to catch me if it looks like I'm going to crash and burn, and pull strings with all his business contacts to ensure that my book will be picked up.  But it will be so fantastic that everyone wants to publish it on it's own merits.  When I discover his back room dealing, and the implied lack of faith in my talent as a writer, I will leave him with much gnashing of teeth and slamming of doors.  But I will forgive him completely when he appears with dozens of roses the day my book debuts at number one on the NYT bestseller list, and we'll all live happily, and richly, ever after.

And that is how my Twittascope ties in.  That fantasy maybe isn't the way I always dreamed my writing career would go, but it's not far off.  (My day dreams have always had more adoring fans than Greek billionaires.)  Clearly there's very little fantasy in my life right now.  It's all about reality.  How am I going to pay for this, where am I going to live, how am I going to do everything that needs to be done in the next month.  One of the realities I need to figure out is: how am I going to incorporate fiction writing back into my life?  Clearly I need it.

1 comment:

  1. I've wanted to be a writer for as long as I've understood that a writer's job is to make up stories. But after my son was born, I hit the writer's block with enough force to stop all creative brain flow. I pretty much wrote not a damn word for almost ten years. Because all I could think of was selling a book, how could I sell a story, how could I make money writing, since I have a child to support... the two things (writing and making money) became linked in my mind. And it froze me. There is no joy writing that way. I had to put my fears aside, claim writing as part of who I am, and say the hell with trying to sell before I was able to pick up the pen again. So my advice to you is write the story of your heart. You could publish it online and give it to readers for free; you don't have to sell it. You could find an awesome agent who knows how to handle the social security side of things. You could hit the NY Times bestseller list - all of those things are out of your hands. All you can do is write the book, and honor that part of yourself that was born to make up stories. Good luck!

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