Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Living At the Bottom

I want to take a moment here and talk about why writing is so important to me and what exactly it does for me. So if I wander a little off track a little bit bear with me, because sometimes it seems I'm playing to an empty room in my everyday life.

Example, I live with a bipolar diagnosis. I take my meds. I keep my appointments with the doc and my psychiatrist and somehow my less responsible sister who can barely pay her way gets pregnant again hijacks most of all the help and my family fears her and her boyfriend so much that I get to sit at the doctor's office 45 minutes extra because her lazy boyfriend won't help my family out.

He's produced two children with my sister. Has no job, but has let my sister work while he goes to school. Has anyone here ever seen the episode of Roseanne where they try to put Mark through school? Yeah, it's kinda like that, only Mark worked. Oh if only life were like fiction. And somehow I'm going to be sitting at Seven Counties, my writing time ticking away while I wait for my best friend to pick me up at the same time a cab would.

I know the logical answer to all of this would be, you're 37 years old why do you give a shit what your sister and her family does? Why not just buy your own car and be done with them? And your parents who seem to be under their Svengali like trance? Because I'm on disability and clear less in a month than they have the collective ability to, and my royalty checks, well, I have a ways to go before I can live off those lol ;).

But enough with the belly aching, what can I control? I can write everyday. I can escape to worlds where bad things may happen, awful things may happen to my heroes and heroines but they can get their happily ever afters if I so choose. (Really it's more like they choose but who's quibbling right?) I have 12 contracts while some don't even have one. I have some really nice reviews and a close working relationship with one of my marketing directors at Hydra and a great editor in Tanja Cilia.

To be honest, my sometime writing partner is also my best friend, my spinster sister from another mister. And only she and ironically enough, my group understands that writing is the great love of my life and that most everything else can go to hell in a handbasket.

As for my family, they love me and ironically enough I love them. They support me as a writer but I think their vision of a successful author is the one where I get the lightning in a bottle success. I'd love that. But until that happens I'll keep cranking the words out and see where it takes me. Living at the bottom keeps me from believing my own press sometimes and keeps me from becoming an author who behaves badly.


Suzanne de Montigny said...

Amy, a most moving blog entry today. You've been given a lot to bare, yet have come out ahead. I take off my hat to you.

Unknown said...

Thank you for the kind words. Sometimes I feel like I'm writing in a vacuum, it's nice to know there are those listening.

Christine London said...

I can very much relate to your feelings of going it alone. My Mom passed in 2007, only sibling in 2008 and Dad in 2010. When a girl has no family of origin the world can seem a very lonely place indeed - you know, that unconditional love that most family gives--uh yeah.

Many of us have family members that think our pursuit is groovy, but they have no real investment in helping us. As one person it is pretty much next to impossible to do it all. We all have the same twenty four hours and for a writer to write she simply can not do all the things she ought to promote her work.

Alas, everyone has busy lives and most focus on those with little energy or motivation to do the administrative stuff important to their sister/wife/daughter/friend's struggling writing career. But when they are gone the focus on those things shifts and the realization that any publishing success is more than most writers will ever know becomes pretty precious. That your words in electronic form shall live virtually forever and that they may touch heart yet unborn--pretty amazing stuff.
They say a professional writer is an amateur that did not give up. Much truth in that, though the pennies per hour of labor can and does take the shine off that 'success'. At the end of the day, if our work touches even one life to uplift, inspire, educate or entertain, we have been a success.
Hang in there.

Unknown said...

Thanks Christine, my main helper is my sometime writing partner is Melissa Goodman. We call ourselves spinster sisters from another mister. In some ways I couldn't be more fortunate. Friends are important, I'd be lost without them.

Rochelle Weber Author said...

Despite the fact that I do own a car, I've been where you are due to my own bi-polar disorder. I know it's not easy, but hang in there. You're not alone.