Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Writers block

Well not really. But I think it is decision time... for 18 months I have been building a portfolio and trying to develop a business plan - to make writing pay. And I have been paid. I really and truly have and I also have written and not gotten paid.

I have taken on some writing for a new magazine and something hit me... this is not what I want to be doing. I do not want to be spending a half an hour on the phone trying to get someone to talk to me about where to Salsa in Columbus, so that I can write a 200 word story and get paid $X if they publish and $Y if they kill. Seriously - that is less than than p cents a word and trust me I charge my corporate clients way more than that.

Now I like the exposure... but it comes at a price and the REAL price of late is that of my true passion - my kiddos and my novel and my poetry.

The bottom line is when E is in school full time- my plan is to be A) be published or B) utilizing my MBA and making some real money OR both. A friend used to say I was selling myself short and I used to counter that I was paying my dues.

This week I think I have finally decided I am selling myself short.

My goal is not to be a magazine author or editor. I have no real desire to be a journalist. I like writing marketing copy, curriculum, training materials and business documents - like white and gray papers and grants. That is what I want to do professionally - not chase Zumba instructors and write about Sakitinis.... unless of course I am writing menu descriptions of Sakitinis - then perhaps that is different.

And what I really want to do is write poetry and fiction for a living - but I am doubtful that that will ever really pay.

So the big thing for me - I have to decide what to do - because frankly I am burning myself out. I really and truly am. I was jazzed writing poetry for the Nake Sunfish this week and my upcoming workshop at Kenyon this summer. I am jazzed writing personal essays.

I also am feeling myself sinking into my normal trap of doing what I think is practical verses what I WANT TO BE DOING and well - it has made me pissy!

I went tonight to a poetry round table and read my work to other poets and songwriters and I made them cry and laugh and my work moved them. This is why I choose to be a writer.

I want to make an impact! I want to move people... I never went into writing to make money - I think I can make money writing and I have - but I think it is time to be choosier about the projects I take on... cuz if I am not feeling it - how can I possibly make others feel anything either - I am good but not that good.

I like writing the business blog and I even liked writing about chairs, I generally have enjoyed writing the MBA papers...

But I know in my heart - I am not a news hound and I know I am done selling myself for cheap... I would rather write a my novel and make nothing until I sell it - than feel the way I felt writing about salsa dancing... there is no passion as I write that story and yet I worked on my short story last night for the Washington Post contest with much passion and enthusiasm.

I have talent... the trick I think is to make sure I am developing the talent I like and not the talent I think will make me money... I can get a straight job with my MBA - I want my passion and my craft to be about an accurate expression of me...and my world view... I want to write right.

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