Friday, December 04, 2009

Two signs in one day

Something very interesting happened today. I ended up getting two answers to two things I've been thinking about! Very cool!

The first thing I was thinking about was a little talk I had with hubby yesterday. I'd related to him that I'm unhappy about a few things and he wanted to know what those few things were. One of the things that's been bothering me is how I'm not as successful with freelance writing as I would like to be. I wish I could break into those glossies, but after over a decade of working as a writer, it just hasn't happened. And I'm beginning to wonder if it will ever happen at all. (I've gotten a few rejections from the glossies, as well as zero responses from others.) And I'm tired of working for peanuts, which is what I label what I'm paid for one particular writing gig I have. It's just unfair. I put so much into it and get so little in return.

That got hubby started on how he, too, was frustrated with my ongoing attempts to get...SOMEWHERE with the freelance writing, and not making as much progress (read: money) at all. One of the things he said was, "I don't know why you write."

I'll admit, I started getting a little defensive at that point. I wanted to stress to him I was talking bout my failures as a freelance writer, not as a writer. With the books, I have no complaint. The books are where my heart is with the writing. And I do THAT because I want to.

Later, I was stewing over that little comment of his. I was angrily stomping around the house, wanting to scream, "What do you want me to do all day? Watch TV??" But, I kept my anger under control. He's not a writer, I told myself. He doesn't get it what it means to be a writer. He doesn't understand that drive to write, that NEED to write, the neverending impulse to create something with words.

Honestly, I tried to evaluate what I would be like if I was not a writer. If I didn't write the words and ideas which burned in my soul. But I really could not picture my life without any writing. I write's what I want to do. And maybe I was beginning to lose sight of that. I don't know, maybe I was losing sight of WHY I write: I'm a dreamer who dreams. I'm a storyteller. An entertainer. A creator of worlds, weaver of words. It's just who I am.

But I still wondered...could I ever give up writing? Would I ever give up that part of me and be the wife that hubby wants instead? The kind of wife with no hobbies, interests or dreams?

It was pretty hard to fathom.

At one point in my day, as I was cleaning the living room, I came across something on the floor. A tiny black thing. I knelt down to turn it over and it had the word "dream" on it. It was a magnet from the poetry magnet set I have in my closet.

Yes. In my CLOSET! I have those magnets in a box in my closet! Save a few, that I have on one of Jen's pictures. But how in the world did THAT end up there?? Jen hadn't gotten into that box and neither had the baby. And I didn't have it on any of my pictures, even in that room.

So, outside of the VERY slim possibility that one of the kids dropped it, I took this as a sign. It was a message to me. A message to always dream. Dare to dream! Never stop dreaming!

I smiled, comforted by this message. It was like receiving permission to continue with my writing. To dream up new stories and write about them. I won't let what others say stop me, or even my inability to be a "famous" writer or the kind of writer who earns a $1,000 check for an article stop me from dreaming my dreams. I have and always will be a dreamer. And I will continue to dream, with words. to the second sign I received today. This one is not so glamorous. But still interesting.

I recently bought Jesse a Star Trek onesie as a Christmas gift. At first, I thought I'd buy 2, because I couldn't decide on the color: Red for Engineering (Mr. Scott) or Blue for Science (Mr. Spock). I eventually decided to buy him the Engineering onesie. It just seemed to fit him best. Later, though, I thought, should I have bought an extra? In case one is ruined? After all, a baby that makes messes will be wearing it! And it is a one-of-a-kind onesie.

So I decided, yes! I'll get him another one! Just in case.

But which color? The gold one, for Command? Or blue? Or another red? Hm, decisions, decisions.

I got my answer, though, when I gave up thinking about this and instead focused my attention on the baby. I smiled at him and signed, "I love you."

Believe it or not, he signed back the Vulcan sign! I kid you not! I had to look good and hard at that little hand making that sign, because I couldn't believe my eyes!! WOW!

He has tried to imitate the "I love you" sign for some time. He hasn't been very successful, though he has gotten close. I think it's so neat he made the Vulcan sign, but also that it's a sign for something else. A sign to definitely get him the blue Star Trek onesie.

I laughed as I nodded back at him and said, "Live long and prosper."


Anonymous said...

ha ha! Jesse is so cute!

Never stop dreaming and writing. Your hubby just is like many hubbys who think only things that bring lots of money are worth doing at all. But then where would we be if we only did things that made a ton of money.

I dont do the freelance thing because I dont like it to take away from my real writing (books etc) but if you can edit you can make 25 to 40 dollars an hour (but you probably already know that) I feel it is a "means to an end" Edit for others to be able to afford to stay home with my kids while writing my books. I love to edit and so I do, you are the only person I have ever done this for, for free! LOL so considered yourself a beloved friend!

Dawn Colclasure said...

Yay! Thank you, Nancy. :) I hadn't even expected a thorough editing job.

I have done pro bono editing in the past, but not doing that anymore.

I agree with your point. Where would we be, indeed. And with that kind of thinking, why even invest time doing housework?? That doesn't bring in any money! ;)

I have thought more on this since that blog post. I was all defensive about being a writer and my right to write, when he was probably referring to "why you write" as "why you even bother writing for money."

All the same, I WOULD like to try to break into the bigger mags. It's just that I have tried that for soooooo long and it's I ever going to accomplish that goal? If I could just get into ONE major magazine, I will feel accomplished as a writer and be very happy that I could do that. I am going to try a different approach. All I need is just one. You know? That would make my year. But, no, I won't pursue it as a "job" anymore. Because you put so much into a query, so much time and research, only to be told "thanks but no thanks." I think that stinks. I want something more reliable and more constant. Editing gives me that security.

As for the of my goals for next year is to get the editing business off the ground. The one client I have is not able to pay right now, which is frustrating. But I'm hoping to build up my client list and hopefully THAT will be my extra source of income. My hubby says that with my regular income and his income, I don't need to try to earn anything from writing or editing. But there are things I want to do, NEED to do, and books to promote, so I will need the extra income to pay for all of that. The family budget will not be used for THAT.

I am going to make changes to what gigs I have going on. Some will change and some will go. Except for SIGNews. I lub them.

Anonymous said...

Have you thought of signing up with the EFA? Here is a link:

I think you write because as humans we have to express ourselves and for some of us thats through writing. Period.
Nothing to do with money at all.

Also have you thought of writing a piece for Newsweek? There is a section in there that ANYONE with a story can send their article to.
Its called "My Turn"

Dawn Colclasure said...

Thanks for that link! :)

I have considered Newsweek's "My Turn" but haven't decided on something to send to them yet. I hope I can come up with something! :)

Dawn Colclasure said...

Adding this quote, because it fits here:

"A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit."-- Richard Bach

Anonymous said...

Your Newsweek article could be parenting kids while being deaf or living as a burn suvivor and if you are brave....about how your relatives squandered your money that was supposed to be for your future to be better!!!
You have TONS to write about woman, there is so much you have overcome.
Heck take your halloween story and spin it a different way (not mainly about Halloween) to be more about dealing with suddenly becoming deaf and send THAT in.

That quote you just posted fits me to a T, ha ha

Dawn Colclasure said...

Thanks, Nancy. It IS a great quote. :) I know I have quite a bit to write about and things to cover, but trying to pick the RIGHT one for "My Turn" has taken longer than I'd care to admit. Hopefully, I will pick one soon. I've also got the memoir planned, so it's not like everything else won't get written about.