Failed Writer?

To be a successful writer, you must write every day.

I see this adage so often, repeated by published authors, fellow aspiring authors, editors, publishers, and general advice givers.  Each time I see it, I wonder, does this make me an utter failure?

I have not written every day.  I have in fact only written on a handful of days in the past 9 months or so.  I have not published a blog post.  I have not added pages, let alone chapters, to my novel-in-progress.  I have not started a new novel.  I have not even kept a journal.

convergence-cover

But I have written 2 short stories, one of which was chosen for a local contest to be read during a festival, the other was published in a small anthology (Convergence: Words and Images from the West Elks).  I wrote those pieces in 2-3 days though.

It certainly does not feel small to me to have finally achieved my first published work.  And I have not lost my passion, commitment, or ability to tell the stories in my head.   So I do not feel like a failure. Well, most days I don’t.  I usually shove the inner-critic slightly behind me, out of direct ear shot and stick to my belief one can only be a failed writer if he or she loves to write and simply quits, full-stop.

But am I being too easy on myself?  Am I claiming a title to which I am forfeit?  I have several reasons why I have not written more, though I fluctuate weekly on my opinion of whether they are in fact reasons or just excuses.  I know I cannot let my reasons always get in the way.  Sometimes I need to set those reasons aside and let them be what I have not done.  To be fair, having a baby and moving house and states are not things that can be deprioritized for any amount of time.  Doing dishes, making groceries, putting away laundry though, those things could conceivably be less promptly seen to once in a while if it means moving closer to my goal.

My goal is and ever has been to be a successful writer.  Success is subjective, I know.  My idea of success is different than many peoples’ and should not be considered any sort of hard and fast definition.  But to me it is everything.  I want to have my work published and read widely and to make enough money doing it to call it a living.

The thing that comes to me as I sit here typing is that according to my personal definition of success, no I am certainly not a successful writer.  But as I said, nor do I believe I am a failed writer.  There appears to be a lovely grey area in which I may continue to live, for now, as a writer.  

Hmm, that still leaves me with the possibility that the “write every day” adage may, in fact, be true.

Damn.  Suddenly I am chasing my proverbial tail.

On purpose?  Was this post simply another bullshit excuse not to work on my novel?

Or wait, does it in fact count towards the “every day” requirement and will make me more successful?

Oh bother.  I should at least be going mildly crazy at a pub with a nice whiskey.

I was right

I was so very right.. about complacency being a silent killer.   I have stayed with the same job, basically, for a year and a half now.  In my attempts to be a normal civilian, to sit still, to build a resume and stability, I have developed in “my industry” from part time receptionist to assistant to the studio manager, to assistant manager of the studio to taking over my very own studio as Studio Manager within 14 months.  Before I speak further, let me say how grateful I am to my friend who made the connections to get me the part time position to start with… the job market is horrific, thank you for helping me survive.  But… I hate this place/job/company/corporation/position/work…   I hate it.  I do not understand the prevalent mentality that due to people’s misconceptions of human capacity, one must keep a job one hates for inordinate lengths of time in order to look marketable to someone else so that one might eventually improve one’s lot and life.  I have retained, and significantly advanced within, my “industry” and so should now be, in theory, more attractive to employers.  However, I have been stifled and belittled and bored for a year and half and I wonder and hope, and despise, that I may now be in a position to get a job I actually care about and can be proud of.  I feel I have been wasting time. I don’t think I have time to waste. Life hold so much more, so many possibilities, for adventure and excitement and significance and change.  A year and a half is far too dear.  I must find something new, to save myself from crumbling beneath a disrespectful boss and. an irrelevant “responsibility” and to further my goals and pleasures, no matter what society thinks of them.   Wish me luck.

My Path, My Self, My Confusion

I think I have figured out part of why I am having trouble figuring out what my path is.  In order to identify one’s path, one must define oneself.  I have no one definition.  I have finally realized and accepted that I am many things, many women, all in one.  No, I do not suffer from an identity disorder, I have had no massive trauma that has caused me to develop separate identities to protect my mind and soul from further damage.  I am, simply, complicated; multi-faceted one might say.

This realization has been swimming around lazily in the back of my head for some time, as I decide what to wear for the day, where to travel, what to do.  Only recently has it solidified into something useful, something that has provided me with an answer to my constant question of “why can’t I figure out what makes me happy?”  I know now it is because many things make me happy, and the variety makes me the happiest.  I need a life where I can be all of who I am, at the times when I want to be them.  I need a life that includes people who accept that I am my own personal variety show, a global, happy, wacky smoothie of “type” (non-dairy of course).

I am immensely grateful for the “family” I have developed along the way that do exactly that.  I love you, Thank you for accepting the fact that I am…