This week I decided to get serious. That’s why I haven’t been around much. I really love blogging. I love writing my silly little stories and making my observations about life and engaging with the blogging community, but there is one drawback to it all – I don’t get paid for it.
Most of my blog posts – particularly the stories – take quite a long time to write. I have recently come to the realisation that I should actually use that time more efficiently and use it to write longer stories, essays and so on that I can actually submit and perhaps earn a small income from.
I know it sounds slightly mercenary but I need to start earning some money from my writing or I suspect I will give it up completely. I do earn a bit of money editing freelance and doing odd jobs here and there but the work is very sporadic at the moment and I, of all people, need to get myself into a more stable working position.
So I’m attempting to change things. This week I sent out queries, short stories, an essay and a few other things including a proposal for a television writing gig I’ve had on the backburner for a while. I need to get my work out there and explore the possibilities of what I could do with it.
I have been afraid for the longest time to submit things but after everything that has gone on lately, I just thought: What do I have to lose? What am I waiting for?
You would not believe the amount of writing I do in a week. It is as if I have an obsessive compulsive side of me that has to write. I have an endless supply of ideas but I have just as many folders and files full of unfinished things.
This week I tidied a lot of that up. I finished three longer short stories (10,000 words) and submitted them. Whether they are published or not is irrelevant to me at the moment – the fact that I tackled them and finished them has made me feel so good. They were difficult stories to write stylistically. I really pushed myself with genre and theme. I think that’s why I was avoiding them. Writing that kind of stuff is hard work. It is a major brain work out. I am proud of myself for finishing them.
I was feeling bad about blogging and kind of avoiding it because I felt it was a snug little place for me to hide as a writer. I have my little niche here which I love but I think there comes a time where you have to decide to branch out a little further. One of the reasons I originally started this blog was to use it to showcase my writing; to be my portfolio, if you will. But if I’m not submitting my work anywhere what is the point of having a portfolio at all?
For a while I have been anxious about my creative life. I feel like I’m wasting time and the small amount of talent I have. Admittedly, it can be very hard to see in a concrete sense any benefits from writing. The marketplace is quite limited. However, that is no reason not to try.
Getting my work out there and dealing with the inevitable scrutiny that comes with that is not something I relish. But sometimes life is all about changing the way we do things, isn’t it? When I face change I get anxious. When I don’t feel I’m doing enough I get anxious. If I’m anxious either way maybe the best thing to do is to just go for it so that I can be in a position where I have faced change rather than still be facing it.
It sounds simplistic but it actually works. After finishing things I never thought I could finish and then submitting them I feel so much better. It doesn’t really matter what the outcome is, the important thing is the process which I am sure will lead to other things and improve my mental outlook.
I have that annoying song from the Rocky movies stuck in my head now. You know the one that is always in the background when Rocky is jabbing his fists into the air and shouting out Adrienne, Adrienne as he runs through the streets?
Gonna fly now
Gonna fly now
It’s important that we give the dreams we have a try.
Won’t you join me in trying out your dreams?