to do what you wanna do?
hey guys. Hai. Guise. Guess what? I’m a big-shot published-for-pay writer now. Officially.
^That got me money.
(~This is my lovely dog in my lovely backyard (weedsarebeautiful). This is how my days begin; coffee and journals and loving my dog.)
On a serious note, this marks an incredibly significant moment for me. All I really want to do with my life is write things down, and it would sure be nice to make a living doing so. This is the first article I’ve ever been paid for, and it feels more like walls have been blown to pieces than a door opened. I’m actually trying to figure out a better metaphor, but until I do, hang on to that one.
What do you really want to do with your life? Your wild and precious life? How are you going to get there?
For me, this all started because I was a waitress as a soul-destroying restaurant in Scottsdale and happened to serve pancakes to a bunch of editors. I leaned over their shoulders at the newspaper they were discussing and blurted out, “oh hey. I write things. Want me to write things for you?”
Or something along those lines.
They humored me, and gave me a couple topics. I wrote them, they edited them, then published them. I messed up BAD on one article, misquoting a source and mis-typing the phone number to his business, and learned that failure isn’t actually the worst thing ever. When I came back from Oz they had me tell people about it, and Congressman David Schweikert wrote me a letter saying he was all about my Aussie articles.
Then CST decided they would pay me, and here we are.
So what now? What now is I will walk on air to the soul-enriching restaurant I now work at, I will serve people vegetables and grin from ear to ear, and when I come home I will write more things and then go swing dancing.
Oh life. You’re so wild.
Do you want advice? On how to do the same thing? What I’ve learned so far (and I have so much to learn its embarrassing) is that you can over-think yourself into a coma. Writer’s block is really just laziness. I’ve also learned that because this is the most important thing to me, I’ll procrastinate and despair and freak the hell out every time I need to write something.
And I quote (from an email to my dad, aka Sanity in a Skype-Session)
“Hey, I’ve got a deadline
and I’m going crazy
so grab your cell phone
AND FUCKING CALL ME”
Its hilarious in hindsight, but in the moment I was 100% positive I would never be able to finish the article (which was like a hundred words…come ON Jess). People, don’t over-think it. Just write it. Tell those editors you’re serving pancakes to that you like writing things down. Go to Australia, just for kicks. Sign a lease. Just do things and more things will happen.
On another note, we’re throwing a birthday bash for Cheetah on the 28th, and if you’re one of the ones who’ve googled her name and found this blog, send me a message about coming to the party and celebrate her with us.