Writing, as a profession, is two or three jobs all on its own, so there's an extra layer of difficultly added when you’re working two or three other jobs on top of that, which, I believe, is the case with most authors, published or not—in this country anyway. I find it especially difficult when the other jobs involve dealing with the public, though it's probably healthy since, I'm told, it's good to have contact with people who exist somewhere outside of your head. It can, however, be discombobulating. Isn’t that a great word? Say it with me, discombobulating: to throw into a state of confusion. Even the definition is great.
I have to give the Self Employment Benefits Program a great deal of thanks for both Chill and Just J. They put me through an intense business course and then I got six months to just write. It was a dream come true. Your psychology is completely different when you can just write and still have money coming in, not to mention knowing that someone believes in you and your writing enough to pay you. If a true desire is there, sometimes simply by telling someone they can, you give them the ability. Unfortunately the reverse can also be true. And, as I discovered through my teaching, and life,some hear much more of the reverse. In situations like that, it's hard not to let the bastards grind you down.
I was lucky enough to be blessed with friends who stayed steady regardless of how rough the seas became—I don’t know what I would have done without them. Like Abraham Lincoln said, "I am a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn't have the heart to let him down." He must have had a awefully big heart to carry him that far. And I had parents who gave me what is considered to be the two most important things you can give a child: roots and wings.
I had worked for years to get to the point where I could be eligible for funding so, when I actually got it, I was going to make the most. In those six months I completed Just J (The first half of Just J was written with the help of a Toronto Arts Council grant), wrote Chill, and got publishing contracts for them both. I also got an agent that I have since parted ways with. But that’s a whole other story.
Thank you Self Employment Benefits Program, Toronto Arts Council and Toronto YMCA. I’m doing my best not to let you down.
And to all those who so generously give their encouragement, love, and support along the way . . . well, you know; you're more valuable than gold, brighter than diamonds, shining more brilliantly than the sun while giving a deeper warmth.
Never under-estimate how much power the words, "I believe in you", and "You can do it" can hold. Accompanied, of course, by the occasional kick-in-the-backside.
Copyright © Colin Frizzell 2009. All rights reserved.