I got a booster shot today!
No, no, no…not that painful vaccine they stab into your arm like a mandated medical manslaughter.
I just got off the phone with an exceptionally talented magazine editor and writer who actually told me I’m a great writer.
Yes. Thank you.
But, shamelessly solicited adulation wasn’t the raison d’phone call. For months now, I’ve been grinding away at this independent writing endeavor. I mean, I was in Austin when I started 24 weeks ago, went to Boulder for a couple of months, am now back in Austin, and it seems through all that, after all this time, I’m still grinding away at the same old same old. Like a hamster on a wheel. Like a dog chasing his tail. Like Kim Jong-un clicking the “launch” button using Windows 8 OS. Pushing and pushing and pushing and seemingly making very little progress. Going nowhere.
But, 24 weeks of (albeit reticent) grinding does not always a world-renowned, sought-after freelance writer make. These things take time. I’ve never had to market myself to this degree. I’ve never had to structure and manage my own time like this. I’ve honestly never been as scared as I’ve been lately and in need of so much professional guidance. Now I know why the word entrepreneurship has six syllables and is comprised of smaller words like stern, and neuter and perspire! This is serious shite! (And yes, that word is in there, too.)
So, I talked to this extraordinary editor and writer who complimented my work and gave me truly priceless advice. Now what do I do?
1. I stop second-guessing quitting my job. Yes, I do that; I second-guess that choice I made. And almost immediately after I do I remember how that grind was less like a dog chasing his tail and more like a pit bull chasing my tail. That’s a clear no-brainer; the job I had was not the job for me.
2. I stop worrying and have fun! I have a chance here to create not only my professional self, but my whole self, anew! I have a chance to be the writer, mom, daughter, sister, friend and Halle Berry-esque jet-setter I want to be (complete with my very own, made-for-personal-use version of Olivier Martinez!) This whole journey should be a thrill — if not a minute, then certainly in general. Choosing who I’d like to write for, making my pitches and penning my articles should be fun!
3. I stop being a curmudgeon. I stop snapping at the people who are trying to help me. I appreciate what I have, do away with the paralyzing fear of failure, and I allow myself to be vulnerable and human without feeling alone, jobless and unworthy. I’ve worked hard for decades. I’m working hard now. It’s just time to start working smart while being approachable, gracious and loving as I go along.
4. I start getting real focused about this thing. I start making progress happen. If I want to write for Texas Monthly, then I go at Texas Monthly like my art depended on it. Same for The Chronicle. Or Oprah Magazine. Or The New Yorker. Or Hustler. Or whatever else tickles my fancy! Because no one ever told me I couldn’t go for these publications. So I focus on what I want and I go for it!
5. I stay confident and keep writing! I hang onto the power and conviction and sense of purpose I had 24 weeks ago when I set out on this journey. I commend myself for my courage and I follow through. I’m a writer. Writer’s write. And great writers write great! Um…great writers write greatly. Well, you know…they write good and stuff. Like…yeah. That.
Til next time!
(P.S. Pies, nuts and Prius. More words you get out of entrepreneurship.)