Swimming Away From the Current…

I had planned to use this shutdown time to write article pitches and submit them to magazines. Good intentions, right?

I began to realize that I wasn’t current enough on what’s trending write articles for some of the places that I’d hoped to draft pitches for. That, in fact, I’d never really been that up-to-date in terms of pop culture and current trends and the like, barring a brief period as an uber-cool (*cough* pretentious little snot) goth in the early 90s. So I was stuck trying to get ahead of a different non-pandemic-related curve.

But I realized was fine with not being trendy. I mean, sure, I spent way too many years trying to be the cool kid in the room, instead of the quiet nerd in the corner who had closet dreams of playing D&D and collecting comic books. And, as an adult, I spent too many years trying to conform so I could just “get a job.”

Not that getting a job isn’t important. I couldn’t write without my day job, even though I still struggle to support myself on that income. But I’ve conformed and worked hard and been outstandingly tenacious in my quest for a decent-paying job, and I still have nothing to show for it.

And, at risk of downplaying the importance of an author platform, or, even more importantly, the amazing and loyal followers that support the author, I realized that I don’t have to be current. There are plenty of talented writers out there that have their finger on the pulse of society, are on top of trends in movies and pop culture and even in writing, and they write it well.

In light of that it’s my responsibility as a writer to find my niche. (Which writing-tips articles galore also cover, of course!) But more than finding a niche is finding yourself. After all, what is writing for but a way to explore all the parts of yourself that aren’t seen in your day-to-day interactions with people.

For a few years after I overcame past conditioning and allowed myself to write (and even now, on some days) I wanted so badly to make up for all the time I lost in the thirty-some years that I didn’t write. And that’s where I could have sank and not swam.

Oddly enough, most of the development I’ve undergone in the past few years has been through a cyclical process of elimination–a whirlpool that gets tighter and cleaner as I get closer to the core. (I wrote a poem about this process, which was also inspired by a recent experience at a local convention. I’m not even sure if the poem is still posted on my blog or not.)

And that it’s perfectly acceptable to like classical music and comedies and outline by hand and write the first draft out by hand and have refillable pens and pencils or even a quill pen and (recycled) paper and get lost in the past and prefer tiny, cozy kitchens in old homes over culinary expanses with gleaming stainless steel appliances.

So, I’m exploring more old-school ideas and approaches to networking and mailings and establishing an author platform which may not even be trending at best, or at worst, be an utter failure, but that’s okay too.

We don’t all have to be trending.

We just have to be successful at ourselves.

And, for me, right now, that’s writing horror.

What’s your “you” right now, during this time of potential reflection and reassessment? Share if you wish to, in the comments.




26 thoughts on “Swimming Away From the Current…

  1. I enjoyed reading your words.It was soaked in honesty, that’s what I really liked about it. Also it is a pleasure meeting people, who are reflecting on themselves. When ever I find myself lost in deep thoughts like that, my passion kicks in and I know why I’m there…
    Thanks again for your words, they made me think and I like that. My best wishes are with you and please stay healthy!

    Yours, Sovely

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Orca Flotta

    “We don’t all have to be trending.”

    Can it be you just found another – totally new – trend? The trend of being oneself, your totally untouched by run-of-the-mill trends true self?

    Just be the best version of yourself.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is so reaffirming and encouraging. I have always felt like a misfit in school and I stayed very proud about it not wishing to give in to the moping for not being part of the cool crowd. But as years passed by, I started feeling haunted by the yearning of being among people who would accept me for who I am rather than look down upon me or try to make fun of my weird interests. I was pretty androgenous at school and I got picked on often for that. My way of dealing with it was usually getting into fist fights with the boys but girls don’t fight and it was nasty how they would get together to exclude me deliberately. The cold shoulder and social exclusion gets to you after a few years. It made me question myself, my pride faltered. I grew insecure and lonely. But right now I’m in a place where I feel like I belong. My postgrad has been the best phase of my life. I got friends who were as weird as I am if that is what weird is. It’s so liberating to finally be with the people who are accepting of the real you. Writing doesn’t come as smoothly as it did before, my mental health issues get in the way but I’m taking it slow and I think this lockdown is giving me the chance to rest. We hardly realise when we are overworking ourselves mentally and just as we need to sleep to rejuvenate our bodies we need to heal our traumas to reawaken our minds. This platform has enabled me to find very supportive and genuine people, especially readers. I’m glad to be a part of it.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I think it comes with the times, right about now…a lot of stuff coming up now, with too much time on my hands due to the lockdown and way too much time for my mind to run around in circles and ruminate…*wry laugh* no worries!

        Liked by 1 person

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