Thursday, May 21, 2015

Then Things Go Awry

Isn't it always that when you think you've got everything in hand, something falls apart?

As a freelancer and single parent, keeping the lights on is always a challenge. For me, it's a delicate dance between writing regular content gigs, finding publishers willing to post my essays and news reports, and also working on my own projects on the side. Let one thing slip through the cracks and all of a sudden the balance is upset, the tower topples, the queen is dead.

When this takes place in a foreign country, where it's not possible to go sell some of your expensive outdoor gear for cash or to get a bit of side work from a willing friend, it is even scarier. When we set out on this journey to live abroad for a year, it only came after setting backup plans upon backup plans to ensure the money would always be coming in. It still is today -- but after losing one key moneymaker this week, the fear and anxiety all come back. Hard. 

When a publisher tells you they don't want you, it makes you think you're a total failure. As if the years of studying and working and then making it on your own were nothing -- and that denier is the only one who can make the final judgement. You're a fraud, a failure in this career, it seems to say. Creative writing is always scary -- made scarier when editors say you're not good enough.

With that kind of mentality stewing around, how in the hell am i supposed to do the things i meant to do before leaving Nicaragua, including finishing the young adult novel i've been penning?

I guess it comes with a stubborn, slightly desperate dose of perseverance. A feeling that you can't let one stupid publisher down all the dominoes at once.

As a single parent i constantly have to bring that back, time and time again... and then again. So i'm doing it again! I'll get the bills paid! We'll end this journey with a bang, and when i get back home i'll buy a car that doesn't come with a loan to boot! It will get done!

For a lesson in perseverance, check out "The Autistic, The Racer and the Test Subject," written by an 18-year-old girl with autism.

Her proud mom tells me her daughter is a strong girl who accepts her shortcomings while working to her strengths. We all can learn from that...

Oh, and the teen did all the illustrations herself!

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