This morning I need a pep talk more than anyone!
"What's wrong?" you may ask.
Funny as it sounds, it's what is right that is causing my unrest today.
I am almost ecstatic that my trilogy is finally complete after years of laboring to make that dream come true. Now that I have, I'm not ready to stop. In fact, I've got full and partial manuscripts pouring out of my ears! Lack of material and imagination has never been my problem. But lack of material wealth and elaborate, unrealistic expectations are a tricky combination. So far, writing novels has been the opposite of a lucrative career choice. It is a labor of love.
At the moment, we are at wits end trying to figure out how to send our third child to the college she deserves to attend, knowing that another daughter will be graduating next year, and we'll be going through this all over again. I have always told my children that they can do anything they set their minds to as long as they work hard and persevere - I'm living proof! But I'm also still a work in progress, and cannot yet afford to support their dreams with the monetary backing that would keep them from being buried in debt when they graduate from college. It's a shame. They are all fantastic kids, great students, and gifted in so many ways. I want to be optimistic, and pass that optimism along, but faced with some untenable choices, at the moment I'm struggling.
My husband, who has supported my artistic endeavors over the years, is also a cautious realist. He is struggling even more than I am right now. As the provider of the family, and a good, good man, being the voice of reason comes at a high price. It hurts to know you are doing all you can, and it still isn't enough.
But...if I went back to work - work at a real, paying job - it would help.
I've had four short, glorious years out of the last twenty-four (broken up by the arrival of our youngest until she was old enough to go to school) to work full-time on my writing. In that time, I managed to put out three novels. But alas, I know my limitations, and working a day job (which I will insist on doing well, no matter what it is) takes up more energy these days than I have when spread between that and writing. So my dream will once again be put on hold.
Knowing how sad this makes me, my husband sent me this reminder this morning:
"The name fireweed stems from its ability to colonize areas burned by fire rapidly. It was one of the first plants to appear after the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980. Known as rosebay willowherb in Great Britain, fireweed quickly colonized burned ground after the bombing of London in World War II, bringing color to an otherwise grim landscape. A single fireweed plant can produce 80,000 seeds! The delicate fluffy parachutes can transport seeds far from the parent plant. Tea was made from the leaves. High in vitamins A and C, fireweed shoots provided a tasty spring vegetable. Flowers yield copious nectar that yield a rich, spicy honey. Today, fireweed honey, jelly, and syrup are popular in Alaska where this species grows in abundance."*
I named my recently formed publishing company Fireweed Press for a reason. For the beauty that springs from the ashes, for the potential that lies dormant, then spreads like wildfire.
I'll will still write - I'll always write! - but marketing and networking have taken up the vast majority of my time as an "author". So you may not hear from me for a while. It's time for my literary children to fend for themselves while Momma tends to rest of the family.
But...I'll be back.
*I'm not sure where he got this info, so please pardon me for not giving the author his/her due...