I started my second novel last night. While I’m excited to see if I can do it again, the idea of writing another book as I near the end of my editing journey with my first one makes me tired just considering it. It’s like finishing a road trip across the country, getting out of the car, stretching and then getting back in and driving back the way you came. If I want to make this my life—and I do—I’ll have to get used to it.
I’m pretty far from a royalty check though. So, I’ve been looking for a job. I live in an area that has little to offer in the way of jobs, especially in my desired field. It’s a rural county that’s lost several businesses in the recession. It’s been endless frustration as I try out the local factories and fail. I’m just not fast enough. I over-think everything. Office jobs aren’t prevalent and when they do come open, you better know or be related to someone already working there if you want in. Either that or you have to be Super Administrative Assistant (with a cape and everything). One sure way to make yourself feel like crap, is to start looking for a job. I’m like the middle child of skill sets. I’m over-qualified for a lot and under-qualified for even more, being completely ignored while I scream, “I can learn! Give me a chance!”
The painful truth is that I know I’ll never be happy doing those types of jobs. What makes it so upsetting is that I feel broken. I feel like I’m not capable. It’s irrational. But the only thing I feel like I’m good at is writing. It’s great for one, because I work alone. That way, I can’t slow anyone down but myself. If I don’t get that novel written quickly, I’m not hurting anyone but myself. Two, it’s always been a way to open a valve and let out whatever’s brewing in my head.
So, I keep applying, hoping to find something, somewhere that I fit, and I keep writing in hopes of one day seeing my words in print. I keep going. I keep moving forward. I keep driving toward the horizon.
Disappointments abound. Is my bar set too high or is it just time to move on from what’s disappointing me? I can self-deprecate until I believe I am the root of all that is failing or miserable in my life, or I can let blame fall on the shoulders of those I protect, some of whom I love, some that I don’t. It’s just not in my character to openly call out those that have let me down.
Maybe it’s the depression, but more likely, it’s that I’m seeing things as they are. You can only spend so many years of your life spinning your wheels, getting nowhere, before madness sets in. You know what they say about the definition of insanity. Well, I’ve been doing the same thing for years. Lying down, being the world’s doormat.
I’m probably the one most guilty of wiping my boots on my own back. I stomp myself into the dirt before others can do it and yet it still stings when they tromp over me. I’m the first to take responsibility when something goes wrong or is upsetting and I’ve been told repeatedly that I shouldn’t feel bad in most of these instances. I can’t help it. I feel like my life has been one long apology. Granted, I’m not perfect and I’m sure some of what I’ve apologized for was definitely my fault. But what about when my ex cheated on me and lied to me every day of our relationship and I still somehow found myself blubbering for forgiveness? Or how I do things others want me to do even when it’s not me, when it’s not what I had in mind. Then I feel like a terrible person when frustration and anger sets in. Like it all couldn’t have been avoided if someone had just listened to me.
That seems to be one of my biggest disappointments as of late. It’s always bothered me that I’ve spoken and mostly been unheard, but now, it feels like a slap in my already reddened face. I suppose it’s been coupled with the realization that dreams only come true if you work very hard for them and with virtually no support. Those that I assumed wanted to see me succeed the most were the first bow out. Maybe it’s because no one takes me seriously. I know I didn’t for many years. So why should anyone else? Maybe because I’ve asked them to.
For the first time in my life, I want to leave. I want to go somewhere else. There’s more to be had, more to be said, and those that just might listen.
If anyone tries to tell you that writing is easy, it’s probably because you misunderstood them and they actually said “biting is easy” or “fighting.” Maybe they actually think “lighting” is easy. Maybe they work in the lighting department at Lowe’s? All I know is there’s no way they said writing’s easy. I guess I always knew that was true but what I’ve found since finishing my novel in October of 2013 is that the real work hadn’t even started. What I probably should say is that writing as a job is hard. It’s not always the getting the ideas on paper that’s the super difficult part, it’s staying focused enough to revise—and revise again. And again. It’s knowing how to pitch your story like a guy selling ice cubes to polar bears. It’s trying to figure out just how you want this work to be birthed, all scrunch-faced and screaming. Traditional publishing? Self-publishing? Leaving copies of your manuscript on doorsteps?
It’s all over-whelming. Exciting. Exhausting. Miraculous. It’s made me start to question if I’m cut out for this. But it’s also reminded me that sometimes you just have to plug your nose, close your eyes and leap. It’s also made me wonder if Lowe’s is hiring.