Monday, August 19, 2013

Lost and Untethered

If you’ve read my latest posts you’ll know that of late I’ve been feeling rootless and lost. Its an intense sensation, the emotional equivalent of waiting at a bus stop trying to get home. The worst of it, just of late, is that I feel as if I’m at some sort of crossroads and I don’t know which way to turn. The thing is this isn’t a singular occurrence, I’ve felt like this before. Only then I was 25 years old, and not long afterwards I met the man I married and moved to Norway.

But even before that, what I’ve always wanted since long before I started writing this blog, was a career in writing. The trouble is there isn’t so many opportunities to write for a living. There’s journalism, not really my thing, I can be dramatic but I’ve never wanted to tell other people’s stories unless I’m personally connected to them. Then there’s writing a column, and that’s why I started this blog, as a way to write long, random pieces without any apparent connection except that I wrote it. There’s also writing a novel, which if any of you have read any of these posts at all in the last few years, you will know that I have done that and I’m still waiting to see if it will ever get published.

Hope however prevails, but still writing as a career isn’t easy. As in all creative careers its difficult to get your break and it takes a lot of patience and determination. It isn’t exactly the most financial rewarding either, most published author’s will tell you that even after they’ve managed to publish and sell their first novel they still have to continue at their day job to pay the bills. So unless you manage to be the next J.K. Rowling, a tough job for any writer, you are not going to be earning mega-bucks anytime soon. Which is why I started to work in child care and began a course to learn how to be a registered child carer. I do love working with children, but it just doesn’t take the place of writing and to be honest its far too demanding a job to be able to work in child care and write as well. One thing I have learnt in doing the course is that I love writing so much that I don’t really mind what I’m writing about, so long as I get to write. Of course the dream is that eventually all that hard work of writing a novel will pay off and I will publish and can start considering my next adventure in literature, which will eventually mean that I won’t have to have a day job and I can concentrate on my passion.

Of course everything would have been a lot easier if I’d gone down the route of further education, if I had learnt from the start how to write and what to write and possibly gotten a job in journalism at an earlier stage in my life. Then I would be able to tell publishing houses, “look at all the pieces I’ve written in the newspaper, see how good I am”, instead of “take a chance on me that I might be good enough to sell.” Instead I’m 31, almost 32 years old and I’m trying to crack into this business with a hammer.

To be honest, and apart from this blog, I’ve gotten to the point where I am losing hope. I was on the verge of just forgetting the whole thing when my darling mum spotted a website from the UK www.creative-choices.co.uk. The idea that there was a way for me to do something I love and I’m good at, that doesn’t necessarily mean I need to learn, except perhaps to improve my punctuation… hehe. It got my hopes up, unfortunately I’m not living in the UK and I can not write in Norwegian, so whether these kind of opportunities are open to me in Norway I don’t know but it gave me hope and encouragement when I needed it most. If any of you are reading this feeling the same, outside of the UK I’m sure that you will be able to find similar sites. Its just a question of looking!

Whilst I’ve been stuck at these crossroads, unsure where to go I did what anyone else would and “googled” my feelings, hoping to find some advice. I came across a webpage called Wise Bread and I tried the suggested 20 min exercise. I don’t know if it gave me anything to think about, I didn’t discover anything new, rather it magnified what I already knew about what I wanted to do with myself. I suppose for me, the most it did was make me more determined to continue on doing what I was already doing, blogging. Holding on to the hope that my novel will eventually get published and that somehow, somewhere in the next few months something is going to change and I will no longer feel lost.