3 S.R. Johannes: Is My Small Window Closing?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Is My Small Window Closing?

I'm talking to my hubby last night about ...finances. Yuk!

newsflash: writers never like to talk about finances unless they have them. Finances and writing - an oxymoron. Notice the root word - MORON

And he says the words I have kinda been expecting but silently rejecting, "sweetie, you may have to go back to work if things don't change".

My first thought was "what do you think I'm doing? Eating Bon Bons? I am working in the 10 hrs I have during the week where I don't have kids!!!!"

My next thought was - "Why is it some people don't see writing as working?"

Reality kicks in with the answer "Uh, WHEN YOU DON"T GET PAID FOR IT!?" Duh!

So what do I do? I'm left in fear, feeling like my "window of opportunity" to be a real writer, let me clarify a published writer, is closing. With two small kids not in school yet and only a few hrs to myself - what do I do?

Do I give up? If not - how long do I give and give and make my family give before I give up if nothing happens?

I am scared. Scared of never breaking thorough. Scared of going back to a corporate job. Scared of what it will do to my spirit.

Let me backtrack - A couple years ago, I walked away from a corporate job - a REALLY high paying corporate job - and decided to leave the Corporate world for good to write. I knew my family would suffer, but hubby and I worked through it. He supports me and knows how much I gave up to write. Don't get me wrong - I have pulled my weight. My freelance copywriting has pulled in a large share really until recently. Since Spring, I admit I've slacked off a bit to write. I cut back, turned down work, so I could write. I had not written much in a very long time. I found my critique group at Springmingle and took off from there.

But now, 6 months later - the money I had set aside has dwindled and I am at a crossoroad.

I've realized that it is not enough to believe in yourself - you have to get your family and friends to believe in you too. Because they support your whacky dreams and they suffer with you. So how do you do that without getting published? And how long do you expect THEM to wait.

So I am left with where do I go from here?

I know that when a door closes, a window opens. But what happens if that window breaks or slams shut? Maybe someone nails it shut without you knowing. Then what happens? Does another door open - the back door, basement door, maybe a vent ? Or are you then completely trapped? Do I have to saw an opening myself?

The thought of going back to what I was and had before - even for the money - is frightening. Worse than never going forward, worse than staying in the same place. It's like leaving a toxic relationship, growing, finding someone great and then going back to what you had - with the knowledge that it was not good for you - but having no choice. Once you've left something toxic for something that fills your soul, how do you go back? How do you let go? Can you let go?

So what do I do? I've contacted my old clients, I've posted for freelance writing positions, and I've prayed for "financial freedom" so I can write. Is that enough? How do you know when to keep swimming upstream for something you feel will happen? How do you keep others believing in you when you doubt it everyday?

How do I keep this window - that blows a fresh breeze into my heart every day - open?

Because if it closes, I don't know if I will ever be the same.


Katie Anderson said...

Oh Shelli,

This brought tears to my eyes. I can totally relate! You WILL succeed. There is simply no other option...

In fact, I just posted about staying positive too!

sending you lots o'blog love!!


Katie Anderson said...

p.s. I laughed out loud at the lunchables post!!!!

Anonymous said...

Ok so I got sucked in and I have to get back to packing and sewing,
BUT as one who also has wacky dreams and supportive friends and family, the answer is,
you NEVER give up, you just Find A Way, there is no other option as I see it, and when you look at the situation through this outlook...

Carrie Harris said...

Woo, scary! It's funny to read this in retrospect and see how things have changed for you. And now you're in the running for a big prize up at Amazon! I'm so glad that the window didn't close for you!