Last week my husband and I had a whole twenty-four hours together, child free. It was amazing! Thank you, Mum, for taking our little darlings off our hands for a few days. We still had the dog, but he was easily pleased with a visit to some local woodland. It was a new place for us to visit, and one that my husband had explored on his way home from work a couple of times. It lies just next to the main road that links Chester to the M6, and I have driven that stretch many hundreds, if not thousands, of times on my old work commute. I do not miss those days!
Anyway, my husband decided we should go for a walk in this woodland, and I am so glad that we did. Our dog had lots of fun running up and down the valley that surrounded a brook, now almost dried up following the heatwave. I was awed by the huge, ancient trees that crowd this expanse of land. They look wonderful, so majestic, and they have stood here for I don’t know how many centuries, while the world passed them by. It got me thinking about my place in life.
I am currently feeling very frustrated about my career, or lack thereof. I am a writer, but I don’t earn a regular wage or keep regular work hours. In fact, I don’t earn any wage to speak of, save for a bit of pocket money here and there. And now I must look for a “regular” job because my husband’s job is under threat and we have a family to provide for. Why aren’t my books selling? I don’t know. I have spent the past seven years studying and experimenting with social media, paid advertising (when I could afford it), exhibiting, networking, and I have done a course on how to market my books. It is not working. I am doing everything that “the experts” tell me do, and I am seeing no results. Perhaps it will take another ten or twenty years for my books to become popular. Maybe they just aren’t what readers are seeking right now. In the meantime, I will have to sacrifice some writing time in favour of paid employment, if that’s what it takes. I am not happy about the situation, but I see no other solution.
And so, I take a lesson from the grand, old trees in our local woods: I will do what I do, quietly and unobtrusively, until one day someone stumbles across me (my books) and takes a moment to appreciate what they see. We all matter. We just don’t all get seen or appreciated as much as we might like. Keep going, fellow writers. You are wonderful!
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I understand your frustration about your books and the necessity to start a paid position, but keep your spirit alive and work on it when you have the chance.
I am doing that, thank you! It is a time of change within our family, and I am ready for it 🙂
A beautiful post. When I first started on this writing adventure I visited some underground caves on a vacation I took with my husband. The caves were ancient and (I don’t use this word lightly) awesome. But standing there I realized that it took a ridiculous amount of time for drops of water to wear away stone and I almost heard a voice saying, “Be patient.” It was the moment I decided to make writing my career. You’re doing everything right and I believe that good work is rewarded.
You are very lucky to have visited those caves, it is something I wish to do someday. Yes, I often think about how crystals are formed over millennia, and how we are always in such a rush to achieve what we perceive to be success. I will never abandon my writing, but for now I will take care of practical concerns in order to support my family.
And the lesson of perseverance in the face of stormy weather. Nothing lasts forever, including a day job. it will be ok xx
Exactly, and it all adds to my writer’s toolbox, eh? I just need to find the right job, in the right location…