The Tide Comes Back For a Freelance Writer

In a couple of recent posts I’ve discussed some worries that have been keeping me awake at night. I’m not completely out of the woods yet but things are much better than they were. It looks like my fears of destitution can be set aside for at least the immediate future. It has been an incredibly tough few weeks for me, but I’ve good reason to believe that the tide is now coming back.

Shit Just Doesn’t Happen to Me

The one thing that has made it easier to cope with my recent tribulations has been to view it as some type of test – a chance for me to learn and grow. I don’t really believe that shit just happens but even if it does, I still feel that it is better to approach the rough patches as if they have been sent my way as some type of challenge. There were times during this test when I stumbled badly, and it is still too early to say that it has made me a better person – but it certainly could have. I do know that I never want to end up in a similar position again, and I’ll do the best I can to avoid it.

Mistakes Were Made

I feel such a great sense of relief for these signs that things are getting back to normal. It is the bad days that make me so grateful for what I already have. I’m sure that the inner itch to get more will return but for now I’m satisfied. I’ve learnt a great deal from this recent ordeal, and I can clearly see that mistakes were made.

I still believe in the power of positive thinking but like most tools it is only effective for certain jobs and when used correctly. I focused so hard on staying positive that I pushed down my negative emotions until they had accumulated and caused an inner explosion. This turned out to be a mistake, and as a result of this I became overwhelmed by negativity. It would have been better to acknowledge my worries while still trying to stay positive. The lesson being that pretending that something doesn’t exist will not make it go away.

I also failed miserably at staying in the moment and focusing on the actual problem. Instead as one of you guys pointed out (thanks Tan) I allowed my fears to take over, and I began committing “psychological and emotional violence” against myself. I thought that I was stronger than that, but I’ve obviously a long way to go. I’m the sort of person who only seems to learn through pain. I can’t say that I’ll never fall into this trap again, but I plan to be better prepared for it. I remember watching a documentary about Ram Dass called Fierce Grace. When he had his stroke he became full of fear at the thought that he was about to die – even though he had devoted decades to spiritual practice. I suppose learning to manage our fears is the work of a lifetime.

There is Always a Silver Lining

I’m really glad that I posted about my recent troubles on here – that has been the silver lining. The feedback I got was so helpful, and it meant I felt less alone. It can feel risky to share the negative aspects of my life, but it would be dishonest of me to do otherwise. I am what I am – warts and all.

I did have one person suggest that I should give up trying to make my living as a writer. They expressed concerned that I’m missing out on the important things in life. I understand what this person is trying to say, but I just don’t feel ready to give up yet. I always knew that this life was going to be difficult at times– that’s the price I pay for trying to live my dreams. I wasted too many years where I was willing to accept the bare minimum on offer but now I want more than that.

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4 thoughts on “The Tide Comes Back For a Freelance Writer

  1. Hi Paul,

    Glad to see you’re coming through your predicament somewhat. There will always be tough times, but perseverance is the key to success, if you believe you’re on the right path. Good luck man.


    1. Thanks Simon, I suppose we need the bad times so that we can appreciate the good. As you say, the key is to persevere so long as it’s the right path. This still feels like the right path to me so I guess all I can do is keep on going.

  2. Paul, somewhere many years ago I heard that the number one regret that people have on their deathbeds is NOT that they tried their dream and failed. It is that they didn’t have the courage to TRY to live their dream. I’m glad you have that courage.

    1. Hi Lynne, I do believe that is true. The welfare of my family does need to come first, but I still feel that ultimately I’ll be a better provider by doing something that I love. These recent events have given me a wake-up call, but I think it is still too early for me to be considering giving up. I have to at least try and make it through these rough patches.

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