Tuesday, September 10: Describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn.
I graduated university where I trained in Performing Arts, I dreamt of becoming an actress. I worked as a Performance Poet and started writing for small shows. I was in theatre productions, earning equity rather than working from it. Life was tough. I rented a house, I could barely afford the weekly food bill. I took up a full time retail position with a photography firm (vaguely arty) and earned less than I had at 16. I was unhappy.
The thick skin required for a life in the Arts was something I had not grown very well (see my ENFJ type -post from yesterday… sensitive) https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2013/09/09/blogtember-9th-september-day-5-johnny-depp-is-my-type/
also I was good, dang good, at home I was one of the best so had no need for the thick skin. Directors loved me, people wanted to cast me, it was all good. Here in the big city I was a tiny, eeny, weeny fish and their were plenty of actors with equal talent and all seemed ready and willing to stab me in the back. I retreated from the spot light and sourced solice in my notepad. It was at this point I decided to be a writer. I was 21, I had been published as a poet throughout my teens in small press, magazines and print anthologies.
This dream was a sudden one.
I was fully passionate and enthused and signed up for creative writing classes at the local Adult college. It was a great course! Divided into modules covering different genres and with facilitators who are actual practioneers in their field. Writers, radio broadcaster, journalists etc. invaluable. It stood me in great stead. Every ‘tutor’ encouraged me in their genre and recognised my talent, for my ego and my mind this recognition equalled the reality that I could write anything for anybody.
Shortly after this (months) I was still struggling with the artists life (a penniless one) such a long gap between publishing and royalities. I was working as a penniless freelance writer when I came to the same bridge (crossroads) as JK Rowling! Her Harry Potter manuscript was her final attempt at making it as a writer, her next plan was to train to teach … we were both in need of the same thing, money. Just enough for a roof, look at us now – she went right, I went left. Not that my ideas or writing was anywhere near Harry Potter, but…
Still we both got what we wanted, and decades later I REALLY have it, beautiful house, wonderful partner, regular salary, lifetime job…
I am at the crossroads again – this time I am turning RIGHT, listening to my creative spirit and stepping into the writers shoes. It isn’t always that you get the chance to revisit a turning point. I tried the one road. I did it for a long time. I can still use the skills and make some income from it. But happiness… that is found down the road to my right, whether I make it to the final destination or not.
Again the WordPress Column leaves me with an apt quotation;
The scariest moment is always just before you start. — Stephen King
Thanks for sharing your story with us Neens. I am sure lots of readers will find much that resonates with them in your story. It sounds like you are at a major turning point in your life. I hope you find a way to pay the bill through writing. I guess you have looked into writing for Helium. I have an online friend who makes some money that way. I keep joining those sites that send out lists of jobs writing testimonials and ads but I never follow up on them. Maybe they are worth trying.
I like the comment you left on my blog about turning to blogging when you no longer had face to face contact with other artists and creatives. (I can’t work out how to reply to you in that comment stream). I turned to blogging for the same reason. I started blogging when I was ill and couldn’t get out and mix with other creatives. It then took on a life of it’s own and became a vital part of my life. My current creative search (http://artifactsandfictions.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/a-turning-point-2/) is provoking some wonderful comments from other bloggers about the nature of creativity. They are spurring me on.
I want to thank you also. I understand how you feel. The creative part of me lay dormant for too long. I am only now beginning to explore the possibilities of this craft. Starting this blog has been a huge help! The community is very supportive! In the meantime, I still teach. Glad that I still like it enough. But wish it didn’t drain me of so much energy!