Hello friends and welcome to another aspirational edition of Just Another Struggling Writer. I’m just another struggling writer.
And I have been struggling of late. I’m pretty sure it’s the same old story: my brain chemistry acting funky again, and while that’s not very interesting to talk about, it’s a reality of my life that I resist coming to terms with. Suffice it to say, I have been waylaid by an unshakeable listlessness over the past week, an utter lack of desire or motivation to do anything with my precious time. Which is frustrating, because I very, very badly want to institute some changes to my life, via my routines and habits, but, for some reason, I just… can’t. It’s frankly horrible. Imagine knowing cerebrally that you have the strength and ability to accomplish your goals and dreams, yet not doing it anyway for reasons you don’t understand. Having immense power, yet feeling utterly powerless against a force you can’t see or name or even truly describe.
After sitting with these feelings the last four or five days, I’ve been able to come up with one just one answer to the question, “How do I do it when I feel like I can’t do it?”
And that’s to talk about it. Talk about how I’m feeling and talk about what I want to do once I’ve conquered the worst of it. So, I’ve done the first part. What about the second?
Scrolling idly through twitter yesterday, I stumbled upon a job posting for an editorial assistant with a famous imprint. It’s remote and requires no degree. I don’t make a lot of money in my current day job so the pay would actually be an increase. My first thought was that I am direly unqualified to work in publishing, having never set foot inside a college classroom before, despite the no degree required and the explicit encouragement from the poster that even those who don’t think they’re qualified should apply anyway. My second thought was, wasn’t I just sitting in the car three days ago thinking about how I wanted to give the publishing industry a go? My third thought was, I assumed I wasn’t qualified to write romance novellas but I applied anyway and I just turned in my seventh completed manuscript.
Lastly, I thought, I what’s the harm? The worst thing that could happen is they say sorry, but no. So, I’m going to do it. I’m going to dust off my resume and figure out how to write a cover letter and I’m going to go for it.
But that’s not the only thing I’m going to do. About a month ago, on a whim, I applied to the local community college. I went through a few of the steps to proceed with admission and then I stopped and wondered to myself what the hell was I doing? I’m almost 34 and the only thing I can imagine studying would be writing, and I obviously don’t need a degree to do that. So, what would be the point of spending my limited financial and time resources on classes that probably won’t do me any good?
It’s those sorts of thoughts that deterred me from going to college in the first place. The thing is though, I’m not twenty anymore and I’m frankly sort of tired of being stuck in an outdated way of thinking. The point of taking classes right now isn’t necessarily to further my career (lol what career) and make more money, but to enrich myself, which is something I do want. So I’m going to do that too. I’m gonna finish the enrollment process and get started on learning.
And all of this sounds awesome, and, yeah, it is, but working in publishing and getting a degree, while both certainly achievable and worthy goals in their own right, are not exactly what I want to do. What I want to is write. I want to write a lot. I want to have millions of words and dozens of books to my name. I want to be a writer not just in aspiration or on a technicality, but in a sustainable, life-long career sort of way.
The great news is I don’t need to apply, or pay tuition, or count on the grace of good fortune to do any of that. I just need willpower and a little bit (or maybe a lot) of time. Ironically, the time is the easy part. The will… that’s what I’ve been struggling to find.
I’ll keep searching for it. And I’ll keep trudging along in the meantime, writing what I can when I can.
Until next time, friends, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.