My Job

still-life-with-book-papers-and-inkwell-francois-bonvin.jpg(Still Life with Book, Papers and Inkwell, Francois Bonvin, 1876)

My Job

I have to say I am blessed with a few people who have truly pushed me to write. They believe in me and for that I am grateful. This writing industry is hard….no brutally hard! You write, and write, and write only to be mostly turned down, ignored, rejected, critiqued and flat out told you suck! (Not me personally, but others have stated as much.)

Wow, why do we do this?

You try to stay motivated. You read other blogs that inspire you to continue. You copy quotes about believing in yourself. You try to surround yourself with other writers struggling through (albeit in the surreal world of the internet) like yourself to know you are not swimming alone.

The truth is, you can believe all your want that you are good, but if you do not have validation it is hard to maintain that “self awareness.” Where does one get the strength to continue to write in spite of it all?

Writing a whole novel is a long process. Then there is the editing, reader critiques, query letters, synopsis, summaries, tag lines, not to add the research and networking on social media. It’s a never-ending process. No one is giving you a pay check, a promotion, a better office with a window, a bonus. It is just you writing. It is very isolated. No one else can do it for you and there is very little to show for it.

My husband asks, “What did you accomplish today?”

“I wrote 3000 words,” I reply.

I might as well have said, “I accomplished nothing.”

My friends who “work” ask, “What did you do all day?”

I answer, “I wrote.”

Their mind swirls with images of me sitting on a couch in pajamas with my laptop, watching games shows, and eating potato chips.

My friends wish they could sit home and daydream like me. My husband thinks I am fooling around with a hobby.  To them trying to become a writer….isn’t a job. It is equal to laying on your bed in a princess dress, indulging in fantasy. You have nothing to show for it…other than your words, thoughts, and imagination written down on a screen.

But the thing is…I am doing my ‘job.’ The job that I was meant to do! I am a writer. I AM A WRITER! I don’t want to become a writer….I don’t aspire to be one ….I am one. It isn’t a fantasy or long, far away dream. It is who I am. And thus, I write. I write late at night. I write in between picking up the kids. I write when I should be cleaning the house, or billing a client. I write! It may seem frivolous to most and a luxury to others. But to me it is my career identity. I am ‘working’ all the time!

I know, I know. It doesn’t bring home a paycheck. So, it’s not a real job. But that is just it…you can’t bring home a paycheck, until you write. Writing takes time, effort, work…..did I say time? It has so many roads to travel and hills to climb before the validation comes….in terms of money and notoriety…if it comes at all.

And thus, this leads me to appreciate that few, the very few, who support me along the way. I need you! I appreciate you! For it is like being a mother. You do a damn lot, for a long, long time and you may never see the fruits of your labor until your deathbed…hopefully sooner.

What can I say to the non-believers, the non supporters?

Nothing. I can only speak to my support team who continual read my blog, comment on my FB, scroll through my tweets, and who ask me about my work. Thank you for believing that what I do matters.

I may not make millions, be on the cover of a magazine, or even have a paycheck for my writing. Do you need those things to be validated????? I cannot lie. I would love that. But in quiet times in the morning when I start to doubt myself, a person has commented on FB about my latest poem or I have a new follower on Twitter.  It makes my day and I realize I have accomplishment my goal: Someone has read my words! Because the truth is, to be an accomplished writer is for someone to read your work, and eventually want to read more of your work. That is the measure of success for a writer. If publishing, money, speaking gigs, blogging invitations come, then it is all icing on the cake. But for now, I write, you read. Job accomplished!

Incursion

2148.jpg

(Lying naked On A Red Cushion, Pablo Picasso, 1932)

 

INCURSION

Darkness, blanketing the light

You take your position, there upon the pillow

As if waiting for the executioner

The mind weary, vulnerable

Worry, regret, contemplation of failures descend

Like an unheeded lover’s desire

Wanting, waiting, restless

Ready to pounce; ready to seize

For no one can stop the inevitable

Death, taxes, and sleep

Smiling Inside

bou_past.jpgPastorale, François Boucher, 1761

 

Smiling Inside

We talk

Not often, nor enough

But the moment your voice reaches my ear

My body responds as if cold water has trickled down my back; I shiver

Tiny threads of excitement spread across my skin, prickling

Does breath suspend?

For mine does in that moment…that moment of recognition that it is you

Your voice humming my soul

sharing your thoughts, your day

sharing a piece of you, with me.

Lucky am I,

the girl with no entitlement, no claim

to bask…no, revel in your being,

your attention to just me

talking…just talking

Little do you know,

the kindness you give,

the pure joy that lights me up inside

and I am happy

.

 

Slow Dancing (Guest Post)

It is with great pleasure I introduce to you D.B. Colson. A fellow poet with whom I am have fallen madly in love with his beautiful poetry. He is a man of great talent and with honor, he has allowed me to share it with you.

8140ac8bc37903d9743e85b0d910d568.jpg(Dancing Couple, Jack Vettriano, 1991)

 

Slow Dancing

In one another’s embrace

moving with each other

to the rhythm of

Fitzgerald and Bennett

 

Absorbed in sensation,

discovery and arousal,

neither future or past,

An exquisite memory

 

With many years since

and some idealization,

Something lost, grieved,

but not surrendered.

 

Yes, and most precarious

you remember me.

Own Your Truth

4-Still-Life-Writing-Table-Irish-painter-William-Harnett.jpg

(Still life of Writing, William Harnett, 1877)

Happy New Year! Or so you hope. But let’s face it. A New Year holds a lot of expectations that none of us will ever see fulfilled. New Year’s Day is just another day. Just another morning sunrise. Just another day to get out of bed. Just another cup of coffee. You aren’t any different than you were on December 31st.

But what does that mean? Are you not important? That you shouldn’t set goals to be better? No, but what should your real expectations be?

Own your truth.

Owning your truth means to take pride in who you are and what you do with no excuses or placed expectation of failure. I do that. I do that a lot. I need to stop.

I have written three novels, a collection of poems, have an ongoing blog, became an reoccurring editor for WFWA Industry News, had a poem and a review published, queried hundreds of agents and publishers, attended courses and seminars, joined writing groups, and become a full fledged writer in a matter of years. I am a writer! But I always, yes ALWAYS, say it with a disclaimer, “But my books aren’t published yet.” I invariably disclaim that I am a writer. I am not owning it. And when I don’t own it, my writing becomes insignificant. I devalue myself. My work. My sweat, blood, effort, and talent. But that isn’t the truth. And thus, I need to own the truth. I need to own up, claim my value, and stand proud…I am a writer!!!

To own it means I don’t have to make excuses for writing. I don’t have to fit it in my already busy schedule, or claim that I have “done nothing” all day when in truth I sat for hours with my fingers on the keys and my mind churning. To own my truth, as a writer, means what I do holds value.

When something holds value, you make time for it. (Tweet this)

I don’t need to set goals to write 10 minutes a day, finish my novel, or get published. Those are just things on a to-do list. But they aren’t real life changing resolutions. The bigger pictures is to claim my truth and see my life for what it is…valuable. To own my truth gives me the goal of living an extraordinary life. And that is a resolution that I can’t fail!

What is your truth?

It is a new year and there isn’t a place you can’t read about setting goals and grabbing what you really want out of life. Resolutions are terrific in theory, but they will most likely fade. They invariably always do. Setting goals is noble. But it also sets you up for failure, even limits the possibilities. You cannot set one goal or have any expectations of yourself if you don’t look yourself in the mirror and own the truth of who you are and the extraordinary life you really do have. Make each day fulfilling that goal.

Own it. Do it. Be it. 

Happy New Year and thank you for your support and reading my blog! I look forward to creating more writing that inspires you.

 

 

 

Set Before You

the-lovers-by-william-powell-frith-18551.jpg(The Lovers, William Powell Frith, 1855)

 

Set Before You

How many times do you look

but don’t see

Sentiments flowing like water

Expressing all that clutters my mind; my heart

but don’t hear

Written in solidness, ink dried, no denial or obfuscating

but don’t understand

It is put out there, no, thrown out there

As if it has a mind of its own; no willpower to be elusive

Nothing lies within the shadows

All truths set forth

Like sunlight so bright

It blinds; blurring what is right before you

Quiet in my reverie, but not illusive

Grasp, take what has always been yours

Through the veil of propriety

Not given by man, but deemed by our souls

I shall not deny you