On Writing And Being Published, Seeing Your Dreams Come True And Revising Your Future

I have been writing…a lot.  Due to some personal issues of two awesome Mommyish writers, I have been covering a lot of the news cycle.  I wrote three articles on Saturday, two on Sunday, and five on both Monday and Tuesday.  That’s somewhere around 7500 words in four days.  It has been intense, but so rewarding.  To see the volume and diversity of work published under my Mommyish byline blows my mind.  Three months ago I was sitting behind a desk advising commercial mortgage originators on the legal implications of their loan structure.  WHAT?  Now here I am gobbling up freelance writing work like it was my job…oh right, it is my job now.  I feel so blessed for the opportunities that have somehow found their way to me and my home computer.

All this other writing has left me with little time to write here on my own blog.  Today, though, is my day of rest.  No assignments calling my name, I settled in and wanted to write a much needed WTTM blog post.  But it hasn’t been all about writing.  This morning I built a cardboard rocketship with the kids and even got in a few minutes to read.  Which is the other thing I have been doing a lot of at night.

When you cover the news, your mind is frantically searching for the headline of the moment; the latest celebrity under a microscope after giving birth, the newest published study to guilt parents, or the tragic story that needs to be told.  After that, I need to unwind at night with some light fare and I’ve been scouring a ton of samples on my e-reader.  These books are mostly what you might consider “chick lit.”  Wow, is there some terrible crap out there!  You look down your nose at Twilight or The Hunger Games, but at least those have original and compelling stories.  Some of the stuff published under the chick lit umbrella is downright painful in its butchering of the English language.

As someone who once thought publishing a novel would be the best thing that could ever happen to a person, these terrible books both inspire and dishearten me.  But in the end they really just help me refine my future endeavors.  Until recently I have been saying my dream is to be a published author.  Of course, I have done that now, but in my mind I think I really meant publishing a book.  In any event, there are two problems with this goal.  First, is, as I already mentioned, there is a lot of garbage published, because, to be honest, publishers need content.  It’s the same as crappy news stories or painful movies.  Producers of the goods need goods to put out.  Some projects are lean, some are stunning.  To simply be published isn’t all the glory and praise I once imagined.  The second problem is I have no control over whether I get published or not.  After my studies in yoga (any yogis will know the niyama I am talking about) I have learned to give everything I can in my effort but let go of the results.

With these two points in mind, I set a new intention.  To continue to write what is in my head and my heart and to check in with how it is affecting my body and soul.  I have created some ugly unintended controversy (first here and then I regret ever asking for a medal for my natural birth – even if I intended more humor in that opening paragraph than came across) and I am figuring out how to navigate those rough waters.  I hope in the future I continue to tell more stories that I want to share, like the truth about my post-baby body, the feelings I have about Sabrina, and even revisit my screenplay in the form of a novel.   I can hold those hopes close, but the truth is I have no idea where this writer’s journey will take me.  That idea both thrills me and terrifies me, but I promise I will enjoy the ride.

12 thoughts on “On Writing And Being Published, Seeing Your Dreams Come True And Revising Your Future

  1. Awesome intentions, and I’m so in agreement with the concept of giving 100% effort and then letting go control over results. Or should I say letting go of worrying about results since we have no control over them anyway?! I enjoyed this article, and I also enjoyed what you wrote about shaming parents.

    • It’s tough to accept – that we can’t control results – but it is necessary for our mental health (or at least mine). The road isn’t as smooth or straight when we aren’t driving the car, but turning yourself over could lead to better places than we even imagined. Or at least that’s the hope, right?

  2. Yay!!! For all you are accomplishing personally and professionally. I can’t wait to see what’s next for you. As long as I can read it, I’ll be happy. So glad someone is making it out there. And 7000 words. Wow. Take a fucking bow. Amaze. Balls.

  3. Great post. I’m so inspired by your amazing success on Mommyish! I feel more awesome just being in the company of someone accomplishing so much.

    But yes, what you say about the crap that gets published is certainly true. I’ve lately been using it as a way to gain more confidence. If that shit can get published, I know that I can. I agree with your point about letting go of control – I’m totally on board with that philosophy. But I also think setting goals is important. I’ve lately gone a bit of the other direction. I always knew in my heart that I wanted to publish a novel, but it was a lot harder for me to talk about it openly with other people. Over the past month, I’ve just totally owned it. I’ve told everyone I know that I’m writing a novel. I’ve even mentioned it while on job interviews (for jobs that I totally didn’t want and, thankfully, didn’t get). Looking at all the people that manage to get published and realizing that they weren’t ashamed to tell their families and friends that they were writing a book, makes me realize that I damn well better not be ashamed of it either. I’m proud!

    And I’m so proud of you for all the writing you’ve been doing. We rock!

  4. Yay! So happy to see you succeeding and kicking ass! Can I ask how you got into all of this? I’ve been trying to break into freelancing, and I feel like I keep butting up against a brick wall. lol

    • I wish I had the secrets of success but I don’t. But since you asked, I offer three humble tips. The first is something you have already done – get to a self-hosted website. Second, start small. I took regular and one-off assignments that paid nothing. The exposure will get you some traction. Pitch all sorts of outlets, not just your long time favorites. Tailor your voice to their work. Third, you already have a strong voice so I would say push the envelope. Say something that you believe but in a way that might raise eyebrows. Or say something that a lot of people won’t say. Of course, you will have to be prepared for the consequences, but if you just present a strong opinion without intending to hurt anyone you will end up ok.

      I was telling Outlaw Mama the other day that I must have suffered greatly and unjustly in another life and karma is trying to offer me some comfort in this one. I feel very lucky.

  5. Congrats on all the writing you’ve been doing! I’m sure it gets crazy busy and stressful but doing what you love can also be so exhilarating and fulfilling. I absolutely love your new intention – “To continue to write what is in my head and my heart and to check in with how it is affecting my body and soul.” Could not be more perfect, this is the direction I hope to keep to as well.

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