Be Careful What You Wish For: “I Want To Be A Writer When I Grow Up” Hah. Hah. Ha…ha.

Okay so I’ve been writing a lot about trauma lately, and that’s been really stressful for me to write about, so today on Tuesday June 13th, I want to do something different, because I’ve recently discovered that I am actually quite bored with trauma.

Yeah I said that shit, and I said it because I realized that I’ve spent four fucking years dissecting, and being forced to process, every minute second of what happened to me over the last thirty odd years – not just including the abuse.

When you actually have the time and the “luxury” to sit down and spend every day of 1460 fucking awful days of your life, processing the trauma you gotta find other ways to deal.

(Okay not quite 1,460 because 2021 isn’t over yet, but I’m not getting that deep with this analogy.)

Writing is how I deal, it’s the thing that I’ve been called to do my entire life, it’s the thing that brings me serenity, it’s the thing that calms my mind and forces me to really think about what it is that I WANT to say, what it is that I NEED to say, and what it is OTHER people need and want me to say.

I want to say that these four years have been a beautiful journey of discovery and self love, but the truth is that they have been the kind of sociological experiment that forces you to believe and to craft into your brain – genuine memories of being in Hell.

Over the last four years I’ve really come to learn a lot about social isolation, and now I am sitting here wondering what it must be like for men and women who are living in continual never ending solitary confinement, either by the government, or by their choice.

Through my writing I have come to learn that I do not want this to be my entire life, I don’t want to be alone forever always and ever after, but for RIGHT NOW, this is exactly what I need.

If the last four years have been like living in Hell, then this blog has been the band aid that I needed to get through it all.

Writing is as old as the oldest human language, it’s the thing that the ancients used to communicate when they didn’t have words to describe what they were seeing, doing, and feeling.

It’s our third form of communication after grunting, and drawing, comes writing, at least in my mind, I didn’t have time to be educated by professional teachers, so I had to learn from those around me.

When I was growing up I had one or two journals, but they’ve been lost to the sands of time, some of them I threw out, and I really wish I hadn’t, but I like to think that those words that I sat down to weave together are still there in the universe somewhere.

This is what happens when you get stoned and sit down to write, you start waxing poetically about what it feels like to be a Writer, with a capital W.

I think that we as Writer’s don’t earn enough money, and I know this because I don’t earn a single dime from this website, except for the rare occasions someone decides to support me by buying from the shop, and DO NOT GET ME WRONG, I am not complaining. I get to do the thing that I love doing every single day, and I don’t have to worry about my bills being paid while I use this time to get mentally, emotionally, and physically, better.

HOWEVER, for other writer’s whose livelihood depends on the money they earn from writing, I actually understand the mental health issues that Hunter S. Thompson was going through.

First there is all the stress of existing on this planet, then there are all the crap piles you gotta deal with as you’re trying to process how you survived this planet, and then on top of all of that your dumbass wants to be a WRITER? You deserves what you asked for.

Except the part where writers are considered “contract workers“, except for the part where your silliness as a human being convinces you to believe that if you work eight hours on a piece, you should get paid eight hours for that piece, instead of you know, the THIRTY CENTS A WORD YOU GET…if you’re even half that lucky I’d be surprised.

A writer’s life is stressful, because we have to take everything we know about the world, and the word, and turn them into some beautiful kind of artwork that educates, inspires, angers, touches, frustrates, and or excites you often in less than a thousand words, for pennies on the dollar.

LITERAL PENNIES on the dollar.

Do you know what happens when writer’s get paid a dollar a word? They cry, in fucking gratefulness, they get down on their knees and they thank Jesus that they exist in a world where they get paid a dollar for every word that is approved.

And 9 times out of every time an entire dollar is offered, the piece gets cut to two hundred words.

A lot of times I sit here and I think to myself “I should see if I can get some freelance work,” and then? Then I realize that it is too much work for too much pay.

As a writer in Canada, if I want to write for a US publication, I have to:

  • Get a number whose name that I can’t remember so that the USA AND Canada can tax me on the pennies that I get.
  • Get a business license so that I can be protected if I get sued for anything that I say
  • Have a full fledged company that brings in ACTUAL money, so that if I get sued I can fall back on the “company got sued not me” business line.

And after all of that I have to spend day after day, BEGGING people to let me write for them, while constantly being told that my gaze isn’t what they are looking for, which is precisely why I set up a “services” page.

It isn’t that I’m lazy, it’s that I have accepted the fact that if someone wants me to write for them, they’re going to ask me eventually or they won’t, and this isn’t again, because I am lazy, or because I think I’m too good to do the job that millions of writers do every fucking day.

It’s because I do not have the emotional and mental capacity to deal with rejection after rejection. I am JUST starting to feel good about myself, and my writing, and my skills, and I know that the proof of those skills is all here in my website, and in the shop, and in all the other content that I provide for free.

I know my book isn’t the best book of essays, but the POINT of the book was for it to exist, so I’m okay with people critiquing my work, because I know that I didn’t have anyone to teach me how to be a great writer.

I asked a teacher once if she’d help me boost my writing skills, and she yelled at me because she said I wasn’t listening when she said that I was falling behind – she knew that I WAS listening, but she wasn’t prepared to ACTUALLY do the work of teaching me, she just wanted to yell at me because I’m not white, because I am not like the other kids she finds “worthy” of being taught.

The schools that I went to were filled with teachers like that, and after school there was abuse, not always when mom was around, but almost always when she wasn’t, and that taught me that I had a choice to make.

I could survive school, or I could survive the planet, I chose to survive the fucking planet, and trust me that was not the easier choice by any stretch of the imagination.

Not everyone survives this place in the same way, I chose to wait until I was ready – absolutely ready – to fight back and even then I wasn’t fully prepared for what that meant, all I know is now is that writing is what I am meant to do with my life.

So no, I won’t be kicking down doors and begging people to read my writing and pay me for it, but I WILL keep writing, and learning about writing, because I want to be the best that I can be, and that work might not get me paid right away but it’s what “I” want.

To all the writers out there who are struggling, fighting, crying, whimpering, about how no one is reading your work, I promise I’m trying to read as much of it as I have time for, and I am going to make a concentrated effort to read more, because y’all deserve it.

The work that you put into the world – the journals, personal and otherwise, the stories you tell about what is happening around the globe, the information that you are sharing with those of us who would have no clue otherwise, your job is so much more important than you know.

You are literally changing the world with your words, using your words to paint pictures that no one else in the entire world can possibly put together. You are using your eyes, ears, mouth, nose, and fingers, to tell the stories of the universe, and one day when this earth is long gone, you’ll see the fruits of your labor.

Writing is not a job, it is a calling, and it’s not something that everyone can do. Not all of us get to be the kind of writer that we WANT to be, but we are always going to inevitably become the kind of writer that the world NEEDS us to become.

Happy crafting (W)riters,

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

Author: Devon J Hall

Devon J Hall is a thirty-eight-year-old Writer and Author from Surrey, British Columbia by way of Calgary Alberta. She lives with three cats, one mother, and is addicted to coffee, cigarettes, and weed, not necessarily in that order.

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