This last week has been one of letting go. After deciding not to continue with education I let go of a few other things too. I just came to the realisation that while I was trying so desperately to become financially stable and professionally valued, other things were suffering. Important things like my health for one and my family life for another.
I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome which means that the more I rush around like a tit in a trance the more I physically pay for it later. And so does everyone else in my life, as I spend an inordinate amount of time either in pain or asleep, or both.
So, after my third trip to the Doc’s in a fortnight (we have a new GP and he’s ace because he knows all about EDS) I decided to turf out a few life choices so I can focus on the important stuff. Starting with the piddly little jobs I’ve been doing online that barely pay minimum wage and take up way too much of my time. This was quite timely actually as one of the people I work for online had yet again complained about my work and told me to review it again. This is where she regularly takes the urine out of me, and my skill set, as she never pays me for the extra work and I can sometimes do the same thing three or four times before she actually pays me for the original job. In fact there’s an unpaid invoice sitting in her account that I submitted a week ago, I won’t hold my breath that she’ll get round to paying it anytime soon.
Anyway she was told “Sorry I won’t be doing this sort of work anymore because your pay scale needs reviewing.”
It felt good to tell her that. Although I would’ve loved to tell her what I really meant – “Sorry love, you do not pay me nearly enough to take your shit, buh-bye!”
Now that’s been kicked into touch, I feel strangely liberated and a little bit tempted to tell other people where to stick their er… stuff.
In short, I think I am done jumping through other peoples hoops and something that happened the other night seems to have confirmed my suspicions.
Following the Writer’s Festival the other week, my friend Ayn, who’s an experimental writer ( On here she’s called Tatterhoodwitch – you can read her blog here ), decided that we would quite like to join a writers club. You know, somewhere where we could go and mix with other writers, talk about the craft, maybe find out about places we can submit our work to or events that might be happening. I am supposed to be taking this stuff seriously after all, so I suppose I should be looking to get more involved.
As luck would have it, a nice lady was handing out flyers at the meet and greet we attended about the local writers club open evenings. “Yay!” says Ayn, let’s give it a look see, so we made a date to pop along the following week to see what it was all about.
Now me being me, I lost the flyer, and couldn’t remember what time we should turn up. But being a resourceful girl I googled it. Let’s just say I was not terribly impressed with what I found. It turns out the club was not what we thought and there were so many hoops to jump through to join, it was ridiculous.
For a start, you need to apply to the committee to join. A committee!!!! Good grief.
Then, you need to let them read a sample of your writing, so they “can see what stage you are at.” WHAT??
Then the committee decides if you can join. Oh yeah and you can only do this if you’ve been introduced by a current member. *Slaps self in the forehead*
It’s laughable. Anybody would think we were trying to get into the bloody Masons!
Anyhoo, I took one look at this part of the website and loudly declared “Fook that!”. I am not jumping through other peoples spherical objects on the off chance I might learn something that will help me get an agent or publisher. As my hubby pointed out, writer’s are generally a solitary species who don’t need to network to produce good stuff. Cue the image of J.K. Rowling sitting alone in a cafe day after day, hand writing her manuscript. Thinking he had a point, I warned Ayn about the criteria we needed to fulfill and she was as unimpressed as I was. So, we went for coffee and cake instead, as you do, and we had our own little writers club meeting. Although there was less talk about writing and more talk about Theatre Shows and Films, but hey we don’t get out much.
We did decide we were not up for literary dissection though. It just seemed a bit mean.
“Hey come join our club, but only after we’ve inspected and scrutinised your hard work.”
See, we felt that being put through the X-Factor style admission process was a bit too brutal for anyone just starting out in the writing scene. Especially if you lack confidence, like some of my friends do. There should be a place for new and emerging writers to go where they can develop themselves without the threat of overbearing criticism – that should come later when you’ve developed the resilience to deal with it.Somewhere, where the only hoops you jump through are your own.
Hmmm… maybe Ayn and I will look for somewhere like this or maybe we’ll create our own.
If we do, you can guarantee there will be a happy atmosphere, a nurturing environment and cake, there has to be cake.