My life, designed by me.
There are times when other people articulate so well what I am feeling or thinking……that I wonder when they crept into my head. I read other people’s Blogs and I am comforted by the fact that for all my uniqueness and me-ness, I am drearily mundane in my likeness to other humans. Or perhaps it is just that my fellow Bloggers began blogging from the same spark of desire within the soul to write and share, to have that place that whilst public, still retains an illusion of being a space that is private.
I went to my first Blogger event a couple of months ago. I was very starry eyed about the whole thing. I did have a wonderful day and met loads of inspiring people, including the one and only Lori Dwyer, or as much of the world knows her; Random Ramblings of a Stay At Home Mum. I highly recommend giving her Blog a thorough perusing and sifting through the jellybeans…she is a teeny tiny little powerhouse of awesome!
Lori is a respected and established Blogger. I love reading her Blog because she is unashamedly real and raw about life. Her recent post called “The Pursuit of Happyness” is one of my very favourites and I found myself reading her words and wondering when she had been inside my head?? She is tiny, I may have missed her trespass, however if she had been in there I imagine I would have been notified to her presence by the rattling of stray jellybeans….
The Pursuit of Happyness (the Lori Dwyer version) explains the discontent that can occur when one takes the wrong path to pursuing happiness. When the why and what of writing becomes for who and for how much.
Since I have taken the enormous leap off the cliff to follow my dreams there is the looming uncertainty of income. There has been the constant procession of thoughts through my brain about how selfish it is to do the whole starving artist thing in my late thirties with a family and husband who already works 60 hours a week.
The funny thing about money though, it makes it too easy to lose focus on what is important. Why would you turn down a paid gig? If you are starting to earn money from Blogging, how hard can it be to write what other people want you to write about to pay the bills?
Well I would imagine very bloody hard. Damn near excruciating I would think.
I don’t mind writing to a topic with criteria and parameters. I can write about anything. I can write underwater…should that occasion ever arise. I have fantasies about being like Lori, where my Blog is something that advertisers approach ME to align themselves with and that this wonderful little realm of my own creation someday earns me some pocket change.
However like all trailblazing women that have done the hard yards so that those who come after may learn from them, Lori explains that the length and breadth of writing to requirements, endorsements and PR requests takes away her time to write what she wants to write. It has stolen the precious spare writing moments that created the Blog in the first place. The fiscal realities of life have infiltrated her creative space, where she threads her words into the joyous and brutally honest ramblings that we love her for. Where she is unashamedly Lori.
I completely understand how this feels.
When I decided to jump off the cliff, I made plans, lots and lots of plans. Timetables, schedules, Plan A, Plan B, Plan C etc. I drove myself insane planning and setting goals for things that took me off on various tangents, none of which involved simply writing for the love of it, they were simply ways to earn money. I am well aware of when I start to tread a path that is the wrong one. I start to feel uneasy and anxious which is a clear sign that I am not heading in the right direction. I had to stop all the planning and number crunching and focus on what my true intent was. To write and to write meaningfully. Here on my Blog, my fiction and some other projects that I have in the works. I decided that it was not being true to myself by spending some of that preciously exhilarating writing time churning out sub-par content for content farming websites that pay a few dollars (IF a piece is accepted) and their quality acceptance guidelines leave a lot to be desired. I value my writing above that.
My new mantra is focus, clarity and always be moving forward. Like Lori, I believe the happiness will come. And hopefully some dollars might find their way to me as well.