Not being famous is hard. I want to quit my day job and support myself as a writer. I’ve written two books and published an anthology of poems. Unfortunately, not many people are reading them. I’ve entered contests and won none. I’ve solicited bloggers for reviews and got no replies. I’ve sent query letters to agents and got crickets for responses. Writing is a very discouraging passion, yet I still put the words on the page. I can’t help it. I love to write.
Back in the beginning days of the pandemic, I applied for the Daisy Pettles’ Women’s Writing Residency prize. I was currently in the midst of writing my first travel memoir. My only desire was to get the heck away, but I, of course, was not selected. I recently came across the original email I sent and reread it to myself. I’m going to share it here because it’s an interesting snapshot of how I was feeling in COVID-19’s early days:
Should I be fortunate enough to be selected for the Daisy Pettles’ Women’s Writing Residency prize, it would give me the impetus to put the final touches on my debut novel. I have been plugging away at my book diligently for the last four years and I believe that I have written something that other people will want to read especially since travel is on an indefinite hiatus. I was a travel agent throughout the ’90s and early 2000’s, but I’ve since been working as an xray/CT (cat scan) tech for the last 15 years in a major hospital. Working in the medical field has never stopped me from traveling and if anything, working with sick people only made me want to see the world more. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has wrecked so much havoc that it has not only changed the way that I look at my job, but it has totally transformed the way that I look at the world. I see life totally different now and have seen with my very own eyes how incredibly short life truly is.
COVID-19 caused a fear in me that wasn’t in me before and it has affected me as a person in both negative and positive ways. I used to think I’d have forever to write my travel stories down, but now I know that forever is not as long as I thought it was going to be. Right now, all I want to do is get away, but there is nowhere right now for me to go. I am needed here, but here is not where I want to be. I want to be there, wherever there is. Currently, the there that I seek is already inside of me. I have so many travel experiences that are worthy of being relived. I want to be a writer. That is all I want right now. I want to focus my attention on the art of writing, and I think that winning the Residency prize would validate my passion. I have been writing in a vacuum for so long now that I am ready to put myself out there and become my own best advocate. I believe in myself, and I know that my voice wants to be heard.
I have always been a writer, but I used to only write poetry. I have always taken journals with me on my trips because I often travel alone, so I got used to talking to myself and doing so has taught me how to be a better writer. I think having a foundation in poetry has allowed me to see the world creatively and it has given me the incentive to wax more poetic words. All in all, it would be great if I could focus on my writing and worry less about what goes on in the hospital. Financially, it would be nice to not have to pick up a few extra shifts for a month or so, and winning this prize would allow me to do that.
Alas, my plea fell onto deaf ears. I don’t know who wins these prizes, but it is never me. Kudos to those who win. I wish you all the best in the writing world. I’ll just continue writing in my quiet corner where no one seems to visit.
I ended up self-publishing my debut book Memory Road Trip. I currently have it for sale on Amazon: $0.99 ebook, $9.99 paperback. I think it’s a pretty darn good read. I sure would love to hear what other people think.
My second book is currently available for review. There’s still some time to pick up my newest travel memoir for FREE!
Thank you for listening to me vent. I needed to get that crap off my chest. Now, it’s time to get back to writing.