Stuck and drowning in expectations

Lately I’ve felt stuck – stuck in my writing and my life. I haven’t met the goals or plans that I set for myself, and it’s draining watching everything I thought I would accomplish fall by the wayside.

When I was a teenager, I wanted to be a teen author. When that didn’t happen, I figured I’d be published by the time I was 25. I just KNEW I would be a writer. Then I changed gears – journalism rather than fiction. I’d write a piece that maybe wouldn’t win a Pulitzer, but it would help me establish my career.

Nope.

Although I took a 6-year break, I’m in the same job, with the same title and the same dead ends that I had when I was 22. I’ve been back for 5 years now, and I’ve won a couple of awards from my press association, but I’m not making headway I thought I would.

Writing for a living is where I’ve always envisioned myself. I love words and creating stories for others, but I just don’t know anymore. My day job makes me want to cry from frustration on a daily basis, and writing YA seems like a series of stumbling blocks that crush my attempts to gain momentum.

I’m not even sure if my WIPs make sense anymore. I have one completed manuscript, one nearly finished WIP, and a vague idea for another story, but why keep writing and getting my hopes up when things continue to fall apart? Yeah, I love writing, but I also enjoy not feeling like a failure on a daily basis.

At the moment, I regret choosing a writing major in college. I thought I had to choose between writing and everything else. I also wanted to be physical therapist, but my school didn’t offer the courses I needed, and I was too embarrassed to switch schools. I didn’t know where or how to look for colleges that offered what I needed, and I liked being an English major because I got to write and explore ideas. It just didn’t prepare me for anything beyond the world of academia.

Now that I’ve realized I made a mistake, I can’t figure out how to fix it. I still want to write. I still want to be published, but I want a career where I feel useful and have a chance to grow. I don’t have the time or funds to go back to school. I don’t have qualifications for a different job. I can’t start over at another entry level job because I already have a tiny bit of security built where I am, not much, not enough to make me feel successful, but enough to terrify me when I think about starting all the way over again.

I’m just stuck, and being stuck in my writing isn’t helping me feel less trapped and lost. I know writing has a lot of water treading and just trying to keep one’s head above water, but today I feel like I’m drowning in it.

You write

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2 thoughts on “Stuck and drowning in expectations

  1. Hugs. We’re all there with you. Stuck is the perfect word. I look at my WIP and think the same thing. Who in their right mind would ever want to read this junk? But it makes me happy to write it anyway. Ask yourself it you’d be happier not writing even if no one else ever read what you wrote. My guess is no. Authors who have ‘made it’ keep saying, ‘you have to have a thick skin.’ Well, I wasn’t wired that way. Rejection hurts. Self doubt creeps in. I’m having A LOT of that today.

    Keep your chin up and know you have lots of writer friends that think you are awesome!

    Like

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