This week a woman looked me in the eyes, really stared into my soul trying to see… me. She was looking; searching for meaning, depth, story. And then she smiled.
Just as she expected, it was there. She didn’t learn my story, but she knew there was one hidden in the quiet way I returned her gaze unflinchingly.
“You are a shining star! Keep on Manifesting your Magnificence!”
Could she see the tears I’ve shed along the way? The doubt I’ve felt on my path? The waiting for life to begin? Or was it the fact that I was there at all? I stood in front of her with the words ‘Be Bold’ echoing in my head. Could she hear them? Was she saying them?
‘Dream big,’ her eyes whispered.
I was at a book launch and inspirational evening hosted by TOAST! London. They invite visionaries to speak and share their stories of how they beat the odds, struggle against life and its challenges, and thrive, supporting their communities along the way. The woman who shook my hand was one of the authors in the book; a trailblazer in her own right. And she recognized something in me that spoke to her.
Do it. Take the step. Push yourself. Don’t be afraid. You will thrive. I have faith in you. Shed your insecurities and have faith in you too.
Time has a way of ebbing and flowing. Every time I think I am one step closer to ‘making it’, a stumbling block humbles me all over again. Thus it goes in the writing world. I shouldn’t be surprised.
I cannot complain though. Life has been busy with more than just work and having those extra hours to devote to family plans and emergencies is one of the reasons why I have stayed with the job of Freelance Writer. Perhaps my most recent ebb has more to do with the universe knowing I need time to process life?
It really isn’t as dire as I let myself believe at times though. While one client scales back, another is ready to ramp things up in the new year. And while a client is parting ways with the founders of her company, they both look forward to new projects and have asked for my help and insight along the way. That kind of sounds like more work overall, if I think about it that way.
In the interim, I am given the temporary gift of time. As a writer, that leaves me vulnerable to too many time-sucking distractions; ie. Facebook, Twitter, the endless stream of memes on cats and the US election. Ack! It’s a hazard of the job though, when I need to wade through it to fulfil my mandate of content curation for clients. And I still have some who like all my treehugger posts!
I just have to remember my internal pep talk on the days that I falter. You know the drill. I should be writing. I should be editing my novel. I shouldn’t be looking for ways to eliminate grass-stains from my kids jeans, but Oh! I could share the hack to reduce my plastic dependence on a client’s page! Head down. Move On!
It’s hard not to get sucked in, but what I really think I need to do is stop worrying so much. If I need more clients, I need to contact people who might send me in the right direction of some. If I want to write my own independent pieces, perhaps I need to spend a morning brainstorming ideas of what to write about and where to solicit those ideas to. Or perhaps I should recalculate my daily schedule and slate in some mandatory editing, instead of hoping that the hours and whims will strike me at more regular intervals.
I know all of these things, and yet I allow myself to wallow in doubt and self-pity. Take the bull by the horns Katherine! Set a schedule, pencil in a coffee date alone, and with some key contacts. Go for a walk. The fresh air and vibrant fall colours do wonders to melt away worry (and maybe an extra pound or two that dogs you for sitting in front of your computer all day). And whatever else I might do, I have to remember to give myself these occasional pep talks to keep me going.
Labour Day has come and gone. The first school bell of the year has rung. And quiet has descended upon my home. Goodbye summer vacation!
While I love the lazy days with the kids and frequent trips to the beach, a return to routine is a welcome thing. This week has been about housekeeping; invoicing, dentist and doctor appointments. I have a mental list of people to contact to kick my oomph back into gear and perhaps scare up a new client or two. I even plan to clean off my desk and see if I can reorganize my cluttered home office to make it more efficient and attractive, thereby hopefully inspiring poignant or poetic words to flow.
Today though, it is hot. My a/c died weeks ago, but the scorching temperatures just keep coming—it feels like 43°C outside with the humidex, and inside, the fan is blithely blowing around 29°C air. Not exactly helping me to produce expansive articles for clients, nor scintillating stories for me. My brain is melting…
I give. There are 1½ hours until the school bell lets my equally wilted children out from their un-air conditioned school. I think I need to grab our bathing suits and take them over to my favourite escape—my aunt’s pool.