Wednesday, January 4, 2012 | By: Angela Brown

Tears of a Clown

I smile, even now, as I type up this post.  It isn't a fake, fraud or phony.  I'm happy to be home with my kiddo, hopping on the computer to get some things done, and finally come up with what I hope is the last title change by me for my novel (NO COUNTRY FOR FAE FOLK to SEAMLESS to MINGLED).  But at the same time, the writer part of me is frustrated with the obstacles I face on a daily basis.

I could choose to stay home, neglect my debts and say to heck with my credit, let it tumble into the tank (it's still reeling from a divorce 4 years ago so it's hanging by a thread lol!!!).  However, I like having shelter, albeit a small humble apartment.  I enjoy being able to eat--yes I have a jolly waistline--and enjoying more than Raman noodles.  Also, I have a kiddo who deserves the best that I can give her.  Which, as a single mother, means working a paying full time gig and squeezing in what I'd like as my career part-time.  This frustrates me.

A lot.

I mean a whole lot.

There are times I'm at work, going through the motions, wishing I could work on my novel.  But keeping a steady paycheck is too important, so important that I sometimes think maybe I should face reality, give up this dream.  Work doing what I can.  Maybe dream some other time in life.

Then I look at my daughter and wonder, "Would I tell her to dream some other time in life?"

Bells No!  I'd tell her to go for her dream and do my best to support her in the pursuit of it.

But there are times this gets really hard.  I suppose that's why finding a better balance for me is such an important task.  My kiddo is my all.  I can't shove her aside, neglect her altogether.  She would grow to dislike my pursuit...and I wouldn't blame her.

I know we all face struggles, obstacles, really big mountains that we wish were molehills.  Each writer has his or her own difficulties.  I try my best not to wallow in my own, just a little hard sometimes.

Really hard.

I mean seriously, I don't think I could express how hard.

Okay.  The smile isn't gone, just waned a bit by my 'reality bites' moment.  I just have to remember that every journey begins with a step, a story with a word and a pursuit with a dream.

I am Angela Brown, an aspiring author.  Despite my insecurities, I am in Pursuit to Publishness.

What about you?  Any obstacles you'd like to air out?


Natalie Aguirre said...

I can so relate to this because I'm working full-time, have a sick husband, and a daughter I'm raising. Yes, it's hard to find time to write but like you, I plug along at it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I admire that you have the strength and courage to do both - provide for your daughter and pursue your dream. You may be frustrated by the slow progress, but your daughter is watching and she knows how hard you are trying - which means you are indeed inspiring her to chase her dreams no matter what.

Miranda Hardy said...

We all face an obstacle or two. Single mother to two children, full time job to pay the bills and support children, father not in the picture...check to all the above. A few years ago, add full time student to the equation and there was time for little writing.

But...I'm a firm believer that you can accomplish anything you set out to do regardless of your circumstances as long as you put forth the effort. Stay positive and know you are capable.

Ciara said...

As a mother, i completely get what you are saying. Just remember, you'll inspire your daughter to pursue her dreams later. Keep going!

Anonymous said...

Great post Angela. And you are an inspiration by pressing forward with your dream.

Angelina Rain said...

Push forward and you will get there. We all have obstacles to overcome, that's what makes success that much sweeter. The trick to finding time to write is to put a small amount of time aside every day for just writing. I try to set two hours of my day for that without distractions. Sometimes life gets too busy and those two hours become only one, but it's still better then none and even a few words a day will put you closer to your dream.

Nadja Notariani said...

Oh, Angela! If I were there right now I'd give you a hug...:)

It's easy to feel overwhelmed when we look at a huge picture - rent, groceries, time at job, parenting, writing, time to breathe -
Take it in small bites. Look to each little success on the way. Settled on a new title?
Read to your daughter today? Awesome.
Wrote a mere 100 words before your eyes crossed and your body demanded sleep?
Don't sweat it. You now have 100 more words than you had yesterday.
Your writing is wonderful, I've seen it in your posts. You'll get there! Enjoy the journey - you're running your own race - no one else's, and you're having to fight a bit harder than many of us for that 'one-more-foot', 'one-more-block', 'one-more-mile'.

We're cheering you on.

Angela Brown said...

Natalie - It can be pretty hard, but I know it's worth it.

Alex - That's what keeps me going. I really want her to also have the strength to go for her dreams.

Miranda - That was me, last year, working full time and going to school. Hardly any time to write or read. But things are a little better now. So I'm staying positive-dealing with the insecurities sometimes-but staying positive

Ciara - Thanks. I'm going to do my best :-)

Raelyn- Thank you so much.

Angela Brown said...

Angelina - Very well said. I'm working each day and so far, one step at a time is the best idea.

Nadja - Thank you. Hugs back atcha. Taking a moment just to one small thing here and there can add up later on.

Bonnie Rae said...

Great post Angela! I have been writing since I was a kid and to be honest I always knew it was what I wanted to do. But no money for college made things like full time work and part time school foreseeable with all my writing on the side.

I just now, after years, at 31 finally was able to quit my day job (thanks to my supportive husband) and dedicate all my time to writing.

Bravo to you for making your dream come true, even if you have to weave it in around other things.

Maria Zannini said...

My guess is you will be prouder of what you've done for your daughter than any award or contract.

Angela Brown said...

Bonnie - I applaud you for taking this chance to go for your dream. Even with the time open, it can still be scary to take that first step to accomplish it.

Maria - I have a sneaky suspicion you're right :-)

Cate Masters said...

Time constraints are a real drain sometimes. I admire you so much for doing what's best for your daughter, plus pursuing your writing. You're setting a wonderful example for her, so she'll know how to pursue her own dreams when she grows up. Hang in there, Angela!

Angela Brown said...

Thanks Cate. Each day is a new chance to learn more and better balance. So I'm going to do my best.

Misha Gericke said...

I admire you for still chasing your dream even when life makes it difficult.

May this year see you published. :-)

My obstacles mostly involve getting things done between the writing and working, so I have a lot to be thankful for.

Angela Brown said...

Thanks for the publishing wish, Misha. I'm working my fingers on the keyboard and writing a story I love with that same wish in mind :-)

I wish the same for you and for others struggling but persevering.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

You're so awesome, Angela. Never give up on your dream. You're what it's all about. Every time you're too tired to write, just think about what it'll feel like to be published, and that will keep you going.

Anonymous said...

Let me encourage you. There's life after raising your kids.

Yes, right now you have a huge responsibility that interferes with your dreams. You've already decided it's worth it, but you also realize that doesn't make it easier. Nothing really will make it easier. But try to relax. Take care of your daughter, do what you can, when you can, to keep writing, and remember that you have years ahead of you.

I went to college while raising five children. One class at a time, for several years. It took me ten years to finish at the age of 43. But I told myself, "I'm going to be 43 anyway. I may as well get a college degree when I get there."

And once my kids were grown up, I had a degree, and for the first time in my life, I had a decent job with decent pay. A new life was starting for me - time and money to have friends, to go out to dinner, to take a trip. To fall in love. To write books.

So hang in there. Be proud of yourself, and show your daughter that she can both pursue her dreams AND be responsible.

I guess it's the idea that we can maybe have it all. We just can't have it all at ONCE.

Donna K. Weaver said...

And she's worth the sacrifice. So you get your balance by cutting something else. And getting to be a sensational time manager. lol

Good luck! One good thing about starting my own writing journey at such an advanced age is that my children are grown.

LD Masterson said...

It's a hard balance. I waited on my dream until my kids were launched. Sometimes I'm glad, sometimes not.

Cynthia Lee said...

Yes. I know what you mean. I don't have children but I am ADHD so sitting down to finish a book is HARD!! Sometimes sitting down and remembering what I was going to do is hard.

But I finished one book. And no matter how hard it seems sometimes, I know I can do it again.

Best of luck to you, girl.

Leslie Rose said...

The balancing act is tricky. I can so relate. I'm a single mom, working full time as a teacher, and pushing to give my writing its own special time every day. Hang in there. Look to the joy you feel when you are lost in your creative process. It's better than rocket fuel.

Angela Cothran said...

Sometimes I become so acutely aware of my weaknesses that I can't see my strengths. When that happens I have to step back and try and gain a different perspective :)

Carrie Butler said...

Aww, Angela. You're such a good mom. Best of luck with your osbtacles! We'll be here cheering for you. :)

Angela Brown said...

Barbara - Very true. Nowadays, with the ability to self-publish, that's an even stronger drive than ever.

Marlene - You know, you probably hit the nail on the head. Sometimes, we can't have it all at once, but I can certainly work toward having it all in time.

Donna - I've wondered if I should wait, but the dream, the desire to write is strong that I figured I better do it now before I explode.

LD - Well, now you can pursue your writing dream unfettered by a load of responsiblities. That's cool.

Cynthia - You did great. You accomplished your first goal and wrote a book. I'm sure you can definitely do it again and again.

Leslie - Thank you so much. Sometimes, encouragement goes much further than we realize.

Angela - Perspective is a lot of things.

Carrie - Well thank you so much. I'll do the best I can.

Marta Szemik said...

My heart went out to you when reading your post. It takes so much to balance writing with real life, bills, families, jobs, responsibilities. I think you're doing a fine job by the sounds of it. It's not easy. It's very, very difficult, but there's usually a light at the end of the tunnel. Keep at it! Angela, I admire you for your aspirations and wanting to give your daughter all that you can.

Angela Brown said...

Thank you, Marta. My daughter is more inspiration to me than she can comprehend at her young age.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Balancing everything can be a real struggle, and I know I would not be able to write if it weren't for the support of my family.

As for the job that keeps a roof over our heads, yeah, we have to keep it. But consider time spent at work as time when your ideas can simmer and stew. I definitely spend almost every faculty meeting composing scenes in my head (to the point where I get annoyed when somebody talks to me and interrupts -- lol).

We have to work, but that doesn't have to stop us from creating while we do it!

1000th.monkey said...

Hang in there, Angela :)

I'm sure, through you, your daughter is learning how important it is to fight for your goals, something that will give her strength as she grows up :)

Perhaps, while you're stealing a few moments to type away furiously, she'll discover a passion all her own?

Jolene Perry said...

I have a friend being bogged down with negativity right now.

So. You know, it's not me, but it still sucks :(

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Oh, Angela! It sounds really hard! But don't give up on your dream - you don't want to teach your daughter that either. Pick away at it when you can - a moment here, a moment there is better than none. And things change and shift, kids grow before you know it, windows of time open where you didn't expect them. You may end up inspiring dreams in your daughter :)

Angela Brown said...

Dianne - I can totally relate. :-) I'll be in the middle of thinking about a scene I wrote or need to write when a coworker interrupts my train of thought with a question or to share something. I smile and try to be polite but the whole time I'm fighting back the annoyance, not at them of course, just the situation.

1000th.monkey - You know, that would be nice if that happened. But right now she wants to be a basketball player. I'll support her either way.

Jolene - It does suck, but it sounds like she's got a friend in you to help her during this time. I sure hope that negativity goes away soon.

Susanna - Thanks so much. I'm hoping my stick-to-it-tive-ness is something that can inspire her.

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I love that you are teaching her that no matter what life throws at you, you can still and always chase a dream. So stinkin' inspirational! Great post - new follower :)

Peggy Eddleman said...

I am finding work hard, too! There's always so much to do with writing, and it calls to me so much, but there are all these other things, too. They're calling and a lot of them are really good things-- really important things-- and there's just not enough time for everything! Okay, now I feel better. Whew! Thanks for letting me air that!

Jenna Cooper said...

I think this is something we all can relate to, and you've put it together wonderfully. Keep dreaming, they'll come true one day!

Angela Orlowski-Peart said...

What a heart-gripping post, Angela. I am a mother and I completely understand your struggles. We want to give our kids the moon and the stars, the rain and the shine, the warmth of the real home, and the traditions that they will fondly remember throughout their lives. It all comes with a price tag: we give up our dreams, or at least put them on a back burner so the children can haveit he life they deserve and thrive in :-) This is motherhood, isn't it? :-)

Angela Brown said...

Tasha - Thanks so much for stopping by. Glad to have all my new followers.

Peggy - That's right! Air it out! Get it off your chest. Doesn't it feel so much better?

Jenna - I'm still working on this dream. It's a bit slow going, especially now that I'm working more on finding a better balance, but it's so worth it.

Angela OP - If someone would have tried to tell me 8 or 9 years ago what motherhood was, I could give them some generic definition. But now, I understand it's true meaning. It really is the hardest job yet love it so much.

Candy Fite said...

Hey, Angela! Balance is one of the toughest obstacles for me as a writer. I tend to get "wrapped up" in whatever it is I'm doing at the time. Whether it be cleaning house, projects with the girls or writing. Balancing my duties doesn't work. It's one or the other.

Teaching your daughter to reach for the stars and grab a hold of her very own, is admirable. She'll appreciate it later down the road.

Never give up your "star," Angela. Hold on to it. Let your little one watch you soar.

Happy New Year!

Angela Brown said...

Thank you so much, Candy. And a Happy New Year to you as well.

Lauren Alissa Hunter said...

This is one of the most honest and vulnerable posts I’ve read for IWSG this week… I don’t envy you your obstacles, but I hope you keep pushing through them.

Tiny bits of progress are still progress, and you are admirable for keeping your daughter as your top priority. Plenty of parents only regard their children as afterthoughts.

Having a day job is horrid, I know! (though mine is a night shift job, haha) but we are made by our struggles. I’m following now, so don’t disappoint me ;)

Angela Brown said...

Thank you so much for coming by, Lauren. Cross my heart, I will do my very best.

Chantele Sedgwick said...

What an honest and amazing post. Thank you so much for sharing. I stay home with my kids while my hubby works, but I can't write until they go to bed. Sometimes it's frustrating, but I'd rather spend time with them and watch them grow than ignore them all day. You know? Thank you so much for sharing your story. You are an inspiration to all of us. *hugs* :)

Heather said...

Ah yes, it does feel better to get such things out doesn't it? We writers work two full time jobs most of the time. I feel for you my dear, literally.

Angela Brown said...

Chantele - You are so right. Children grow so quickly. We can miss something beautiful if we're too obsessed with hunkering over our laptops all day.

Heather - It feels great getting this out. It's like unloading a burden.

Lydia Kang said...

Your strength and determination will always be a source of inspiration to your family. Stay strong!

Elana Johnson said...

I HEAR YOU LOUD AND CLEAR. I'm not a single mother, but my income (part-time) is needed to maintain our way of life.

There have been so many times where I've wanted to quit. Give up the stable job and write for a living. I've sold books, and I'm still not doing it...

So yeah.

Hang in there! The rewards of having a steady income are worth it. Your novel will be there for you when you get home.


Angela Brown said...

Lydia - I can honestly say that with such a wonderful blogosphere of supportive writers, I can feel a little extra strength bulking up to help during the lean times. Thanks you so much.

Elana - Your words are so true. After rolling through the day gig, caring for Chipmunk when I get home, my novel will be here, whenever. And because of new fangled devices like flash drives, wherever.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

As a harried blood courier, I know all too well how hard it is to juggle a demanding job with your dream. And you are a mother on top of all that.

It are our dreams that sustain us during the dark moments. And our faith that we are not alone. That there is a Will to the Universe who remembers your name with a smile. Roland

Anonymous said...

What's you're doing is admirable--working full-time, writing on the side, and being a mother. You're teaching your daughter not to give up on a dream, even when things don't move as fast as one would like.

Angela Brown said...

Roland - I couldn't begin to imagine the demands of your job. It's wonderful that you've made your dreams come true, which I get to talk more about very soon.

Medeia - I hope she gets it. Thank you so much.

Yvie Gonya said...

This is a beautiful and inspirational post. Keep working toward your dream, I know your daughter will appreciate it when she's older. I'm at the age where I'm deciding between what I want and what I need, future-career wise, and I can't even imagine how fortunate your daughter is going to be to have you as a role model when she's in college and making these decisions. :)

Krispy said...

We all have these moments, especially when Real Life gets stressful. I definitely feel you on the working full-time when all you want to do is write side of it, but then I don't have other people depending on me either. You're a determined, strong lady, and I think it's admirable that you push on the way you do. Your an inspiration and your daughter will recognize that. :)

M Pax said...

I'm glad you can manage both, Angela. There are always obstacles. Your drive is admirable and something your daughter will pick up on. Determination, tenacity and drive are great things to teach and pass on. Look forward to reading you, Angela. :)

ali cross said...

This is what I love so much about IWSG. We don't have to be complainers all month long, but ONE DAY A MONTH, we have the freedom to let it all hang out. Let the smile slip (just a bit) and tell it like it is.

This thing we're doing isn't easy. In no way is it easy.

I am so proud of you for realizing that you can treat yourself kindly--even if it means things are hard for now in the pursuit of your dream. One day you'll get there, and you'll be so glad you didn't give up.

((Hugs)) to you Angela! You are a great mom, a wonderful friend, a powerful woman AND you are a writer!!!

Angela Brown said...

Yvie - That is so encouraging. Thank you so much.

Krispy - It's a daily struggle, especially, wanting to write when I've got to do the day gig bit.

M Pax - Thanks so much. I'll work steadily, hopefully, get my writing out there one day soon.

Ali - Isn't that the beauty of IWSG? Good to get these feelings out every now and then. Thanks for the hugs. They're always welcome.

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