The Struggling Writer

The chronicles of a freelance writer as he tries to make a living.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


I've had a recurring nightmare lately. I'm trying to make my way through an airport. Sometimes I'm going home, sometimes I'm trying to get to a plane, sometimes I'm in the parking lot but usually I'm in the terminal. And I'm lost. Everything keeps twisting and I end up in odd places. Stairs lead up to the 2nd and 4th floors, but not the 3rd where I need to go. There are lots of people around who all know where they are going. The more I wander, the more annoyed I get, occasionally getting so angry I wake myself up.

OK, I'm no dream expert but this one doesn't seem hard to interpret. Fear of change. Or at least fear that change is getting you nowhere.

Not surprisingly, these dreams started as I changed my business plans.

As I think I mentioned before (I blog so seldom that I forget what I've said and what I've just mumbled to myself about) I'm at the point where my goals exceed my actual work. I use these unrealized goals to pay myself for non-writing work tasks such as sending queries, reading about business plans, and doing my taxes. This has forced me to make decisions about what the next step in my career is.

Until now I've been depending on a single client who gives me keyword articles to do. It's not the most fun I've ever had, but it pays a good hourly rate and is steady. She does the marketing and subcontracts to me so it's easy for me to get complacent. However I need to diversify.

My original plan had been to start offering services to non-profit organizations. I decided recently that with the economy in its current sorry state, this would be a bad time for that. Nonprofits are tightening their belts and probably not interested in hiring services.

My goal now is to send letters of introduction to a number of trade magazines. Before I do that I have a few other tasks I want to get done such as getting some clips together. I also need to rewrite my website. I've never been happy with the text there and it's not a good sign when a writer's website is badly written. I was trying too hard and I need to go back and write it in my own voice.

But as I move out of my comfort zone, I experience anxiety. I was reading a book on business plans today and my stomach was in knots. Once I put the book down, they went away. I've always been pretty transparent.

The cure for anxiety is desensitization. The more you do something, the less nervous you get. I need to keep to my goals, get some of those letters out, and get moving.

Once I do that, maybe I'll find my way through the airport.


  • At 7:45 PM, Blogger Rolli said…

    I'm similarly troubled w. recurring nightmares - esp. one in which I'm eaten by a tiger, but remain alive the entire time, aware of every sensation. Yuck!

    I think your "fear of change" interpretation is likely the correct one - or perhaps you're feeling restless, unsettled, unsure of where you really want to go? Though I often suspect dreams are pure nonsense.

  • At 2:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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