Where Dreams Meet the Business of Writing

This post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. The first Wednesday of every month is Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.

The question for June is:
Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

iwsg

I don’t know if “I quit” were the words that formed in my brain one June afternoon two years ago. I think the exact words were more along the lines of “I’ve failed, I’m a big fat loser, and I have to give up on my dream.”

I’d been working towards quitting my retail job to write full time. It had taken some time, and I thought I was prepared. We paid off the house the year before, so the monthly expenses I needed to pay for were lower than they’d ever been. While I didn’t have a huge amount in the savings account, it would cover three months of bills, should I need it. Additionally, the vacation and time accrued from my employer would cover several more months.

build itBesides, on the premise of the movie, Field of Dreams, I was going to build it and they’d come.

The first major obstacle hit me full force before I’d gotten out of the building. Following my final punch-out, carrying an armload of goodbye goodies from my coworkers, I stopped in my manager’s office to say goodbye. And then, in this moment when it was too late to change anything, he informed me that I’d get my vacation hours…but I wouldn’t get any of the PPTO time accrued. He’d had three weeks to let me know this and hadn’t thought to mention it?

I was livid. I was so angry I couldn’t start the car and drive right away. I had to sit there and cool my raging boil to a simmer. That was a thousand dollars I’d kissed goodbye. Two and a half months of bill money. Poof! Disappeared. Never to be seen again.

That’s all right. I’ll make it. This is just one setback.

And then, in April, the car died. That small savings account? Now, it too was gone.

By May I knew that I’d ‘built it’…but they weren’t coming.

Oh, I’d gotten a few small acceptances here and there. But it wasn’t enough to give me the freedom to sit at home and spend my days following my writing dream.

I started looking for a part time job. Without any success. When I saw that my eye doctor was hiring – for full time – I applied. I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to work full time, especially there. I’d been in that office. I’d seen the office girls in action. I knew that at the rate they ran, and with the days that stretched to seven o’clock in the evening, I’d come home exhausted and wouldn’t have the energy to write.

When the office called me to come in and work a two-day trial period, which they were doing with all the applicants, to see who would be the best fit for the office…I lost it.

I threw myself across the bed and bawled. And kept bawling.

I’d tried. I’d failed. I saw this as the total loss of my dream.

What was worse was this brain of mine wouldn’t allow me to only view this one instance that I was seeing as a failure. It had to bring up every single failure it could remember – from my lifetime! I hadn’t just tried one thing and failed. I was a failure. I was a loser. I couldn’t do anything right.

I sobbed until I was drained. Then, I fed the cats and went to bed early.

The next morning I got up. What do writers do? Even loser-writers? We write about it. I sat in front of my laptop and poured my heart out. For hours. I typed and pounded the keyboard. I should have just slashed a vein and let it run on the computer. It would have been easier.

Now, two years later, I look back and almost laugh at myself.

I worked two days for my eye doctor and came home with $140 check. I didn’t end up getting the job. (Whew! Thank you, Lord!) And I kept going. I did end up getting a part-time job, which I still have. I work for ‘them’ in the morning, which pays the bills, and I come home and work ‘for me’ in the afternoon as I build my dream.

I didn’t officially quit. But it was close. I was so close to that quitting edge that I felt like I’d fall off the precipice and never return. Until I reminded myself that some days I’m my own worst enemy and I shoved that negative, whiny creature back in a time-out box so I could carry on about my business – that of following my dream.

 

You can find Trisha Faye here:

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Comments on: "When Dreams Almost Disappear #IWSG" (14)

  1. I needed to hear that just now. I’m looking at the end of my day job and its tolerability, so I need to get to work on finding something else.

    • I’m glad the words were helpful. Don’t give up on your dreams!! Although sometimes we need to go with Plan B, or Plan C, D, etc for a bit. Hang in there!

  2. Trisha, thank you for sharing this. I think it helps for the rest of us to see that we’re not the only ones facing setback after setback. Now I think I need a good cry. 🙂 http://www.raimeygallant.com

    • The good cry now and then does seem to help, doesn’t it? And then we can get up and get on with business again. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Crying helps – it helps to release fear, anxiety, stress and all the other bottled-up emotions. And sometimes it helps us to see clearly what matters – our writing – and what doesn’t – people trying to screw us over (they can be fed to Kelpies or the equivalent in the genre you write, it’s lots of fun writing about the demise of people who wrong you – or maybe that’s just me 😉 ).

    “Until I reminded myself that some days I’m my own worst enemy and I shoved that negative, whiny creature back in a time-out box so I could carry on about my business – that of following my dream.” Love this!

  4. Oh, bless you! It’s horrid when one thing after another piles up, and it certainly can trigger people to think everything is terrible. I’m glad you are continuing to chase your dream!

    • Thank you Kyra. We all may have our insecurities and doubts (which led us to this group lol), but we all keep moving forward despite them. Have a great day!

  5. Rosemary Reader and Writer said:

    Ouch, Trisha, ouch! That $1000! But I’m glad it all worked out for you in the end and that you have found a mode of working (them am and writing pm) which suits you.

    I ‘retired ‘ two years ago, because my teaching job was taking over my whole life, 24/7. Now I’m doing all manner of part-time stuff. As I write this, I’m sitting in a polling station being a poll clerk for today’s general election. (A long day, but good money.)

    • Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you too are able to figure out a way to keep some funds coming in while we follow our dreams.

  6. Heather M. Gardner said:

    Glad you didn’t quit for good!
    Great post!

    Thank you,
    Heather M. Gardner
    Co-Host/Admin IWSG

  7. awshannonauthor said:

    Thank you for sharing. It’s so important to show other struggling writers that they are not alone, because when you want to quit that’s how it feels, isn’t it?

    I was recently in a similar position where our finances were tapped out. I spent a year working at a job that was killing me, physically and spiritually, before my husband pout his foot down and demanded I quit and write. I’m so glad I listened.

    I’ve nominated your blog for the 2017 Liebster award. Check it out here! If it’s not your thing that’s fine, don’t feel obligated to participate. I’d still love to have your book recommendation though! http://annw.shannonauthor.org/liebster-award-2017/

    Have a great day!
    Ann

    • Thank you for stopping by and commiserating with me. And thank you for the nomination too!
      I’ll pass on participating right now. This two week period is the time my PT job goes FT – and in the middle of it, I’m trying to get in three days to go visit my dad for a late Father’s Day visit in Arkansas.
      I’ll go take a look and give you a book recommendation.
      Have a WONDERFUL day!!

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