I can admit it. I’ve been overwhelmed lately. I’m on disability and trying to become self-employed through freelance writing. Because of my disabilities and health problems, I’ve thought long and hard about what kind of work I can do, what I’m physically able to do. (If you’re going to comment on this post, please don’t judge me or make crappy comments. You don’t have to live life in my shoes so you can’t possibly know what it’s like. I do the best I can. On that note, any unsupportive comments like “get a job” will be deleted.)
I decided to pursue a writing career late last winter. I began by practicing writing articles (like this one). I started submitting columns (like this one to Bitch). In the spring, I started building up my website and building up my online presence, including using Twitter. In June, I got a few big breaks. First, Bitch picked up my piece on Meghan McCain.
Also, on June 9th, I sent a letter to my congressional delegation, Rep. Dave Obey, Sen. Russ Feingold and Sen. Herb Kohl, telling them about what I’ve been through and asking them to support the public option. A week later, Sen. Feingold’s office called and asked to tell my story in a speech he was going to give in support of the public option on the Senate floor.
After the speech, which was humbling and awe-inspiring, I used the moment to do some major networking, which led to my semi-regular contributions to the Women’s Rights blog at Change.org. Since then, I have guest-posted on other blogs and networked with other feminists, but I am feeling kind of stuck. I’ve built up something of a portfolio but how do I make a living at this writing thing?
The long and short of it is that I’ve been beating myself up lately. I’ll figure out the money thing. I’ve already got some ideas for what to do next but I freely admit that I’ve been frustrated lately. Why is this writing/self-employed thing so hard? Will I ever be able to make a living at it? Why did this illness/injury happen to me? And there we go, now I’ve overshared.
But here’s the reason for this post: I’ve got to take a deep breath and give myself a break. I took a four-day mini vacay this weekend and basically didn’t let myself think about anything at all. (You would not believe how many games of Bejewled Blitz I played on Facebook yesterday as I listened to the football games in the background.) I’ve got to remember that this will all work out. I will figure this writing career thing out. I just need to be nicer to myself.
Ashley over at the Small Strokes blog has been going through a rough time herself lately and has also decided to give herself a break. In fact, she’s declared today Love Myself Day and encourages everyone to do the same. Here’s her new mantra:
I am going to love myself enough to know and respect my limits, and to not talk myself into feeling worthless when something takes a little longer to get done than I expected. I am going to feel great about all of the good things I am doing, and I am going to make time in my life for the things that are important to me.
I’m going to try to do these things. I may not always succeed but I’ll try. Rome wasn’t built in a day, right?