So, I was told today that I would be better off if I spent my time on housework rather than trying to achieve my dreams of getting a real publisher for “Mental” or having a remote writing career. I was so furious, I started bawling like a child.
The point was well-taken at first–it’s not necessarily intelligence, talent or an entrepreneurial spirit that makes a successful writer, it could simply be about who you know–and I don’t know anybody. But…
I was a high school English teacher for ten years before I got married. I taught my students the writing process for creative work every year, in addition to the curriculum I was responsible for teaching. Whether it was about their creative work, or their opinions voiced in class, I always encouraged them to believe in their work and to believe in themselves. I really believed myself when I told them they could achieve their dreams if they applied themselves like I knew they could. I told them to go for it, go for their true dreams, because I believed that was necessary to achieving a full life and a positive self-esteem. I told them these things, too, because I had a novel I had written in my back pocket and dreams of someday having a writer’s life. Maybe I was just deluded. Maybe they couldn’t really achieve their potentials, and maybe I can’t either…
I admit it, I’ve got a comfortable lifestyle where I actually have the luxury to look for the perfect remote writing job and the time to land the perfect agent with the ability to launch me into my dream of semi-stardom…I understand that these things make me fairly unique and fairly protected from the harsh realities of earning a living where you are too tired at the end of the day to pursue a creative dream.
After an honest discussion, the important person who said those negative things to me said he did actually believe I had written a good second novel.
Dear readers, the point I am making is that I will not give up on my creative dream no matter what anybody in my life says.
“Mental” took many years to complete, and it is an art lover’s dream book, full of everything that magic realism and the blank page can allow me to dream up! Finishing this difficult novel was a big accomplishment and I’m not gonna let it just go to waste on my computer! No! It’s like the perfect punk rock song! It’s worth a read, and I must get it in front of as many readers as possible to begin fulfilling my individual purpose!
So far, learning the publishing industry the hard way has been frought with disappointment. There are tons of scam publishers out there that want to prey on my desire to be published, and this journey so far has been disillusioning at best. However, I cannot, and must not, give up any time soon.
This is evidenced in my new voice mail message, recorded today. I’m not going to give out my phone number to let your hear it, but it goes like this: “You’ve reached Marie K Johnston, novelist, who has also penned poetry collections and a memoir. Please visit me on the web at http://www.MarieKJohnston.com. If you need to leave a message, wait for the tone.” I have texted family and friends to call me and listen to it because I think it is professional-sounding and in general, pretty awesome.
As always, keep your heads up, dreamers! And, do something every single day to advance your creative dreams!