I’ve always known I’d be a writer in some capacity or another, even if only in my head. I’d love to make my living wielding words, and to some extent, I have, but I’m still not quite in the sun-splashed writer’s loft I’ve imagined since the third grade. Every day, I see that nooks and crannies place full of dusty books and sharpened pencils and the latest edition of my novel, topsy turvy in a vertical column of other editions of my novels.
Instead, my writing career took unexpected twists and turns since I graduated from college in 1990. Some years I worked in ad agencies, others at magazines, and still more at small-to-midsized companies, turning out sales manuals and brochures, always wanting to leave to write my book or wax poetic on something other than semiconductors and credit cards. And in 2007, I did leave my post at a non-profit, believing firmly and with conviction that I’d paid my dues and could go it alone; just me and my words.
Since then, I’ve freelanced, edited, and penned copy for deal sites, parenting portals, and company blogs, all against the backdrop of mothering and dreading the monthly bills we’d just manage to pay. I wouldn’t change one day, either, because along with the stress and uncertainty, I’ve spread my wings in ever widening circles I never would have envisioned if I hadn’t made the leap to be free.
I began this journey unsure and scared, and Lord knows, I still am, and in spades. Yet that little bud of conviction I took with me when I left my last full-time job continues to bloom with each project and each day. I will finish my book. I will make something of my words. I will put fear in a death grip so brutal, it will shatter into black feathers and spiral from inside my heart to a land far, far away.
So it is. I continue to pursue writing projects that help me grow, even when those black feathers drift threatening close, whispering their poison and “can’ts.” I do it anyway. What else is there? To not know? To never know if your dream could shoot out of you with exhilarating speed, toppling the fear, standing victorious on a pile of years, I shouldn’ts, and the grime of not quite believing?
I’ve marched on, occasionally collapsed, turned back, and sat on the sidelines. Each time, I just manage to get up and push forward. Not to write, but to believe I could. And now, I’m so tantalizingly close to my book’s completion, having lapped up the support of fellow writers like a gangly-legged puppy. Thank you all, for inspiring me and kicking my ass.
And another thing: My writing partner and I have developed a humor web series chronicling the blogger life as seen through the eyes of a single mother who daily kicks fear in ITS ass. This series is one of those things I never believed I could make happen. But my partner and I? We parted the fear feathers and marched on and so here it is:
Hope, prayers, crossed fingers, and faith in our project are appreciated.
And for those of you who know just I’m talking about with the fear and the belief and the marching: Keep going.