The not-so-unfamiliar struggle of a not-quite professional artist

Being a writer is hard.  What’s even harder than being a writer is trying to be a writer.  Being a writer is about writing.  It’s that simple, isn’t it?  Sometimes it doesn’t feel that way.  It seems like if you’re not getting published and putting your work out there than you’re not a writer, and certainly not an author. But I know published and self published authors alike who seem to feel no closer to being a “writer.” We constantly struggle to level the scales of our happiness and passions with that of money and survival. So, what is it in us human beings that makes us feel accomplished when—and sometimes only when—we have a wad of cash to level that balance?

So here I am, two years removed from college with little experience, and a whole heart full of ambition.  My creative writing professor in college taught me many things, my favorite among them is that to become a writer one has to write.  He used to make us write thousands of words a week just because.  He helped me see that just as farmers farm and musicians play instruments, writers write. We have to exercise our writing muscles.  There’s nothing more to it than allowing that sixth sense, that innate ability and love for stories and words, the space and freedom to exist.  When I get discouraged, I often think back on this principle, the simple discipline of just doing it, just going for it, and allow myself the space and courtesy to believe that I could—that I am—a writer.

Ohio had very little to offer my husband and I.  I searched for a job in publishing, journalism, technical writing, even employment in a bookstore.  Nothing.  My husband Drew has a degree in music production and has been doing freelance work producing and writing over the past few years.  We finally got to the point where we outgrew where we were.  We both have thirsted for more fulfilling and challenging artistic communities.  So, we’ve found ourselves in Nashville, Tennessee, bright-eyed and hopeful.

Our story is nothing new, but I hope that by writing it out I can see our progress, and hopefully in some way encourage others who are also struggling to make their passions a solid cornerstone of their lives.