Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Why I Write

Why do I write?  There is no glib, easy answer to that question.  The short version is I've gone through a lot of hell in my life and, being the creative person I am, writing was a way for me to cope.  And, currently, it's a way for me to try to make a job for myself, rather than waiting for the dismal economy to create a job for me.

But by no means have I managed to completely create the job yet.  After all, it doesn't yet pay the bills.

The short-ish long version goes something like this:

My parents divorced when I was 11, and my father essentially decided I was worthless to him at that point.  My amazing mother ended up getting her first case of breast cancer a couple years later.  Keep in mind my dad didn't pay child support, and we lived a couple states away from the closest family.  It was just my mom and I.

My mom beat the breast cancer, only to get it again five years later.  She beat that round of cancer, too.  But the chemo wreaked havoc on her, and although family took turns coming in to help during her first bout with cancer, no one came the second time.  After seeing what my mother went through, I often tell people I'm not afraid of cancer; I'm afraid of the cure.

Throughout all of this, I was bullied relentlessly at school, and by my father on the rare occasions he actually had me visit him.  Add to that my undiagnosed ADD, OCD, and depression (for obvious reasons), and I was one lost and seriously hurting kid.

My only outlet was my art and my writing.  And so that's what I did, only I didn't have anywhere to market it.  Didn't have internet at the time, didn't know where to go or what to do with my creative ventures.  So all my stuff stayed tucked away in my house.

I later got married to an abusive control freak who decided stalking me and assaulting me after I left him was a good idea.  Through all that, I busted my ass and worked my way up from an office helper to a legal secretary/legal assistant, eventually making enough money to survive fairly well on my own.

Then I took another position, one that was supposed to be so much better, that ended up being a living hell.  I was bullied daily, and by bullied, I mean screamed at for several hours a day.  My work was routinely sabotaged, so much so that I at first thought I was literally going crazy.  It wasn't until I caught the saboteur in the act that I then knew it wasn't me.

Can you imagine living every day where you're screamed at for being "deficient" at your job and being convinced you're nuts, only to discover it's not you at all?  Yeah, it was torture.

I was finally let go from that last position, and while I was relieved, there was the problem of money.  If you think unemployment covers anything, you'd be sadly mistaken.  It's winter, and I have no heat and no hot water.  There are no extras at my place, and there are often moments when I'm not sure I'll be able to eat.  And if you think there are any jobs out there, you're again sadly mistaken.  There are none, at least, not in my area. 

So, I decided to write a book.  I thought, hell, if there aren't any jobs, I'll make one for myself.  One I'm reasonably good at, with every expectation I can make something of it with hard work.

I wrote it and got great feedback about it.  Which is awesome, except without the means to promote it (no money, remember?), that meant there weren't a lot of people who were even going to know it existed, much less buy it.

So I set up a Twitter account.  Started meeting awesome people and building a following.  And honestly, I have to say that's the part I've most enjoyed is meeting the people.  Sure, I have a broader audience who will potentially see my writing, but if you follow me on Twitter, you'll note that I don't spam my stuff.  Spammers just annoy the hell out of me, so I try to stay away from that.

However, the amazing people I've met on Twitter have done A TON to help my book's visibility, and that is something I will forever be grateful to them for.  Am I making enough yet to pay the bills?  That's a resounding NO.  But I'm hopeful I will get to that point in the near future.  If I don't, I don't know what I'm going to do.

Thankfully, no matter what, I'll still have my writing and my art and my school (I'm in college for computer stuff).  Without those things, I would descend into a pit of depression I'd probably never climb out of.  But those things--especially the art and the writing--give me an outlet for my worry, give me a distraction from the everyday problems that plague me, and might someday become the way I feed myself.

After all, no one has ever accused me of being a quitter.  I will make it, one way or another, in this life.  And I'll always have my creativity to support and guide me along the way.

2 comments:

  1. Reading this makes me feel so much better about my situation in life, because I remember being in the exact same (similar) boat you're in now.. I was unemployed for two years, until I got the job that got me into the government system... I'm ... I've been depressed the last few days, but reading this makes me have hope, because I know if you can do it, I can too. Stay strong, and know how much impact you've had on me in the very short time we've known one another.

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  2. I'm glad to hear it helps! And like the post says, this is the short-ish long version, lol--there's so much more, but that would require me to just go ahead and write a book!

    And the feeling is mutual--soooo glad we are twitter friends, I really enjoy talking to you and love the craziness we all end up getting into online. Helps keep me sane :)

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