Starting to write. Again.

After having recovered from last week’s challenges, it was time for a change. So here in new format, the same blog: same-same but different. I got annoyed with the ads, so I decided to buy my domain name and add my portfolio – for those who wonder if I do anything else but whine about wanting write for a living. (“Like, ohmygawd, why doesn’t she like, like, write for other people?” Ohmygawd, she so does…)

While updating this blog, I found a forgotten draft from 2011. I can’t remember why I started it or why didn’t finish it but here it is: it’s short, it’s contradictory but it made me smile!

2011

1. The strong must look after the weak.

2. Just because bad things happen – a lot, doesn’t mean they are acceptable.

3. Be generous, share what you have.

4. If you need to fight, don’t kick a man when he’s down – but kick him hard enough so he doesn’t get up for a while.

5. Don’t be afraid to love.

Order this and cry for joy (Serendipity)

FxCam_1389786807541This morning I woke up with a writer’s hangover, meaning that this was not caused by overindulgent alcohol consumption for a change but by negative feedback on a project. Let’s be fair here, not just the project, more specifically – my writing. It was a short email, the bulk apart from intro and sign-off read:

[…] I really did not like it. Too contrived, too many and too vague characters, too few inspiring, original or even funny situations and very questionable dialogues. I don’t see any way this can be improved (not even through improvisation.) […]

Dear Reader, I cried. This project has taken years of preparation and indeed some stress in the last few months. So after having had to initially control my disappointment because I was in a meeting, all the while self-doubt eating away at my soul, I allowed myself to be upset for about two minutes. It seemed silly to wail for much longer, especially over someone’s opinion, but long enough to process the pain. I got comforted by my amazing housemates and I decided to sleep on it.

 …I allowed myself to be upset for about two minutes. It seemed silly to wail for much longer, especially over someone’s opinion…

Waking up felt like having been through 15 bouts of heavy-weight boxing and not having come out as the winner: physically and emotionally bruised. I am still annoyed at myself for not (yet) being a better writer. Still today is a day to be kind and this has already been  greatly helped along by two incidents this morning:

A radio interview with British crime-writer Ann Cleeves, who is now hugely successful; having two of her creations transferred to the small screen on both BBC and ITV. She confessed herself being very lucky: one of the reasons why a television series was now made was because the person, conveniently in charge of ITV producing, picked up her book in a second-hand shop. Ann had been writing since 1986 and felt that success, though lucky, had also been a long-time coming. She literally told anyone who was writing now to keep on going and to just enjoy it.FxCam_1389786709940

Secondly, I got a postal package. An unexpected package, when not containing Anthrax and the like, is one of the most exciting things that can happen on a day. Most delightful, the package contained a belated birthday present in the shape of Apricot jam with Schnaps and a chocolate liqueur. More importantly, it also contained a postcard with my cousin and her family’s best wishes for the new year and a casual afterthought:

“..you’re already a writer, the rest will come along in time…”

Postcard linesSerendipity made me smile, as I turned the postcard with pictures from the Würstelhütte and Käsekrainer, reading the small print: “Order this and cry for joy…”

“..you’re already a writer, the rest will come along in time…”

Happy New Year’s Resolutions

English: US Navy SEALs clearing cave complexes...
Probably not my new colleagues (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So 2014.

In the early hours of this morning, I spoke with my friends about my plans for the year: my hopes, my resolutions. It is hard to talk about this sometimes, especially if the friends structure their lives in a more mainstream way than I tend to live my life.

It has taken a long time for me to accept my friends’ questions as part of a conversation and not as an interrogation in which I have to defend myself. As a big birthday is approaching this year, I realise (even without their prompts) that I am indeed still renting a room in a shared house, working a job that I hope will get me through the month, every month, and chipping away at what is seemingly a pipe dream.

Thus a familiar question is: What if it will never happen? Well, at the point that this becomes certain, I will have died – so I suppose it won’t bother me that much. Perhaps I shall even die with the demented hope of a 96-year old that my warbling will be published posthumously. I mean, “it” is not trying to become the President of the USA, try to establish peace in the Middle East, find a job as brain surgeon next week, become a pro-basketball player or join the Navy SEALS by the weekend: “It” is to write for a living.

The biggest a priori mistake people seem to make though is to assume that we have the same goals and formulate the questions from that perspective. Despite all the insecurities and challenges in my life (and really, they are just #firstworldproblems. I am hardly trying to rescue my newborn twins from cholera here) I am happy.  Every day I wake up in my rented room, I know I chose to be there; even when I log into a shift at 3am, I chose to do so. Every time I manage to finish a draft of another unpaid writing project and send it off into a black hole via email to reach yet another deadline, I feel hopeful.

The day my dream is no longer my choice but my cage,  I will change again. A creative life is not the obvious life for an inherent worrier like myself but I like the challenge, the variety and the freedom.  As it is a mile-stone year, my resolutions are to make my life A) sustainable and B) more purposeful. Last night, I was told that those are hardly SMART goals,  yet I suppose you could call them intentions or in fact, what’s that word again… resolutions.

I have my dream, my resolutions and yet another 365 days ahead of me.

So 2014, let’s go.