The Writing Challenge
Freelance writing career, week 1, day 4.
As I’m listening to Madonna in my living room and drinking a cup of strongly brewed tea, I’m reminded that this is always what I’ve wanted to do. Hunkered down in a quiet space, listening to my favorite music, and bringing thoughts to the screen in hopes that someone else’s heart will be stirred as much as mine has been.
That said, yesterday (freelancing day 3), was my first overwhelming day. I knew I’d have them—I just didn’t know they would arrive so quickly.
So, why is this freelancer distressed? Because I have to write.
It’s not the writing projects that I’ve been hired to do that are bewildering, it’s the writing I need to do in order to be hired for future projects (book contract!) that cultivate anxiety. This material, the kind that the writer needs to produce in order to make his or her dreams come true, feels as if it’s held captive by the muse (think Stephen King’s fat guy with a cigar in On Writing), who is laughing. “What’s so funny?” you ask him. He just grumbles and coughs. He’s enjoying your inability to craft coherent sentences from the mélange of material in your brain.
Muse or no muse, I know that if I show up each day and do what I was born to do, the discipline of just being here at the computer (which I’ve never had the luxury of doing) will launch me in the right direction. Come Holy Spirit, come.
Here are the current book-length projects I’m brainstorming/struggling with:
—Interfaith (Christian-Hindu) marriage
–The story of my rural Indiana childhood, summer visits, and my father
–My work as a UNC Hospitals chaplain with a specialty in death and dying
—Salem College memoir
Which of these stories (if any) jazzes you up? What would you like to read about? Are their aspects of each topic that you are especially curious about? Thanks for sharing!