The last two days have been really weird for me, and pardon me if I get real deep and personal here, but I need to do it.
So, Wednesdays I go to therapy. It's something I always do, and it helps me clean out the clutter in my brain. I was excited to go this week because I hadn't gone in two weeks and missed doing my tidying thing. But when I got there, I struggled to find things to talk about. For a long while I talked about being settled and satisfied with my writing and hopes for the future, and how things feel super stagnant and chill. I left feeling like I was in a good place, maybe, to start breaking things down and moving into new phases of my life. After all, I just moved into a house and got the office of my dreams. Sky's the limit, right?
But then yesterday happened.
Yesterday, I spent the entire day watching every episode of a series that I did not enjoy watching. It had some serious logic flaws in its world-building, it felt like nothing really happened the entire time, and the main appeal for the show was that it starred an actor I did not care about. During that mind-numbing binge session, I also was writing 3 different articles, 2 of which felt like brain candy: easy to consume but without much substance.
And with my brain melting at everything else, my third, meaningful piece ended up being nothing to be proud of.
That night, I realized how much I hated writing about things that didn't matter to me. Especially because I know I don't do my best writing that way, typing away like a keyboard zombie. And I felt it itch under my skin, the fact I've sent a couple applications out for paid nerd writing work and heard nothing back when I know I can create some great stories. It's exhausting, being trapped in the proverbial Matrix of my dream career. I want to write commentary about the coolest nerd shit, but here I am, doing listicles and writing for cheesy teen drama fandom videos.
Worse, it's not like I can't appreciate the work I get, because there's a lot of people who don't get paid at all to write entertainment news and commentary. I'm stuck in this hellish limbo of getting paid enough to cover my bills and be an adult, but not enough to feel accomplished or proud in my work.
I get too much out of these gigs to leave, but I don't get enough out of them to live how I wanna live. And that's not even meaning money shit; I'd appreciate a higher salary to help out my boyfriend with our house and our dog and our future, but I'd be okay if I was happier.
But let me tell you, it's really depressing looking back on your week and realizing you didn't get paid to write a single thing you enjoyed talking about. And anything you did enjoy, nobody but you saw it. The best parts of you live in a capsule lost in space, and every-time you try to share it with people, something gets in the way. Worse, that capsule feels like it's careening and tumbling into dark, far away places and you don't know how to stop it.
When I started freelancing, I didn't expect to fall in love with writing essays and reviews on pop culture. I thought it was just a stop-gap until I became an author. Now, though? I want both. And I want them so badly that sometimes I stay awake at night looking at my ceiling and wondering how everything went so wrong.
I am passionate and I have an encyclopedic mind and I love movies and video games and comic books and the weird and the nerdy and somehow I've made them all feel intangible. Because at the end of the day, I'm the one who took on these jobs and stopped writing. Underneath it all, I'm the one who can't get it together and be good enough.
Meanwhile, I know in my forebrain that's just the Imposter Syndrome screaming in the giant sea of the internet, overwhelmed by my own dreams and fears and frustrations. And they're not right, those fears, but just because I know what's happening doesn't mean I stop feeling them.
I just love talking about things and connecting new, weird ideas. I love seeing the deeper thoughts and emotions and symbols behind everything, and I swear I'm not jsut talking out my ass about things that only interest me. Other people find them interesting. Let me tell people interesting things.
I'm so tired of either talking to a void or talking to an audience with a voice that's not mine. Let me find that balance, that place, where my ideas can belong and I can be a fully-fledged writer. I swear I deserve it. I've worked too hard, figuring out SEO, melding to Twitter life, learning clickbait, keeping up with nerd news to just be trapped her forever. I need something more.
If only life was like a Disney movie, eh? Cause that right there definitely was my Princess "want" song and they all got their dreams in the end (mostly).
This ended up so much longer than I meant to make it. I just fell asleep with the weight of my world on my shoulders, and woke up with it there, too. I needed to think it out, talk it out. And I needed a conclusion.
Unfortunately, I don't think I have one, today. I need to be paid and with all the work I take on to be paid enough, I don't think I have to time to take on an unpaid position just so I can write whatever I want about nerd media. I just have to keep on trying, applying, find a way to make it work.
But hey, who knows. Maybe I'll cave if the applications don't roll in. After all, I just want to write things I think people should hear. Maybe the truth is I've finally grown my own writer ego, thinking I deserve more. I'll chill it out in awhile, but for now I'll pat myself on the back for managing to grow one at all.
At the end of the day (or just the end of this post, in particular) all I really know is that I need to fall in love with nerd news writing again because I do love it, desperately, and what I'm doing right now isn't cutting it. It's just making a mess out of the person I am working my ass off to be.
Now, back to applications and the 4 articles I need to write today.
Yeah, let's hope I don't have to type sentences like that forever. At least, not unless they are some really exciting articles.