I haven't really let on to you guys because I have a habit of wanting everything in my life to seem at least adequately "together," but I've been trudging through a rather treacherous rough patch in my professional life lately.
I've been thinking a lot about the long-term, which is something I rarely do. It's okay to live in the moment and take life day by day. In fact, it's pretty essential for me. But I think it's also important to at least consider the long-term repercussions of your big decisions, whether it's choosing a career, a life partner, a house, a new city to live in, etc. And the more I think about the long-term repercussions of my career choice, the more daunted and discouraged I feel. At the rate I'm going and with the extremely unfortunate lack of motivation and experience I have under my belt, I can't help but envision a future of working four jobs I hate while doing my freelance work on the side IF I even feel like it.
I wonder if I've had my head in the clouds this whole time. I knew being a freelance writer wouldn't be impossible, but I didn't think it would SEEM so impossible at times. When I get discouraged, I basically want to hide under my covers and check out from the rest of the world. It's awful. Picking myself up and deciding to keep going every day just doesn't even feel like an option sometimes. I WANT to keep writing, but I'm seriously starting to wonder if writing alone is going to cut it when not having a stable career is no longer acceptable. I've been working another little job on the side, and while it's nice to have more money to play with, it still doesn't give me the financial independence I long for.
It's like I've lost sight of my reasons for wanting to be a writer in the first place, and I can only remind myself of those reasons so many times before they start to sound like an annoying and meaningless broken record. I've worked for free. I've worked for less money than I make at my other job, and my other job is twenty times easier (What's wrong with that picture, my fellow creatives?) I lack the social skills and self-esteem to network and promote myself. I've gotten lazy. I've gotten confused. I've gotten lost. I have epic epiphanies about following my true path and then completely forget which path I'm on two weeks later. I write down goals, intentions, insights, and reasons for continuing to do what I do and then let them all collect dust. It's this constant push/pull, up/down, wonderful/awful process, and I just flat out don't feel good enough to manage it without breaking into hives or crying. What if I'm NOT good enough? What if freelancing isn't for me? What if I have to start all over and rebuild my little work life from the ground up? If I can't be a writer, I don't really want to be anything.
I was honestly going to try my best to end this post on a positive note. I was going to write myself a letter or offer advice to people who were going through the same thing. But now that I have all these unfiltered thoughts out in front of me, contradicting them would feel like forced bullshit. And I don't ever want to feed you guys forced bullshit. I try my best to be inspiring and offer as much hope as I can because it's the number one reason I do what I do, but sometimes I just don't have the answers. I don't expect you to have the answers either.
I'm not going to give up or stop writing, you guys. But I am going to stop thinking that I somehow deserve the success I don't even know how to earn anymore. I am going to try to find myself again because the only way to find yourself is to lose yourself....over and over and over.