When I Got a Moment to Breathe

At most points in my life, I haven’t written nearly as much as I would like. There are always other things to accomplish in life getting in the way. So, whenever I get a moment to breathe, I think a lot about where I am as a writer. That train of thought necessarily leads me to reflect on where I am as a person. 

I used to do a lot of self-reflection, especially in my poetry. But I don’t really do this as much anymore. Instead, I overwhelm myself with little details and trivial matters. This distracts me from what I should ask: what do I have to say and how should I go about saying it?

I have a lot of trouble simply accepting life’s little victories anymore. It’s like I must hit a grand slam every single day with every single thing I do. I set grossly unrealistic expectations. Why can I not accept that I need to just do what feels right and go with it?

My primary struggle for many years was realizing a vocation allowing me to provide for me and my immediate dependants. Writing is my first best skill, yet I labored at it so much and gained so little. The need for more income led me to dabbling in videos. That not being enough, I also dipped my feet into reclaiming and resale.  These two ventures in addition to my writing gave me just enough to get by, but nothing more.

I always felt that the pursuit of happiness should always be paramount to how much money I brought in. Alas, the acquisition of currency has become a necessary evil. But, what I did know to be true is that the pursuit of happiness and realizing my vocation should not be in conflict with one another. If they are, then you’re doing something wrong. 

There are a lot of ways to make money, but all of them involve committing to a specific plan. Too often people, myself included, try so many things at once that you’re pulled in too many directions to succeed at any of them. My issue for the majority of my adult life was that I failed to commit to any one thing if it didn’t yield results immediately. This was my downfall, and I’m far from alone with that experience. 

For a time I even considered giving up my writing completely. I nearly committed to focusing entirely on doing videos, using transcripts to give me blog content as I would need it.  I never committed to the idea for a number of reasons. One reason is that I’m much more articulate in writing than I am in speech. I became well aware of this during my speech to text adventures, an exercise useful for getting down short-term ideas but a disaster for me in regards to long-form content.

You might ask why I didn’t simply write scripts for my videos. It turns out I could never stick to a script, and I would end up ad libbing a ton and rambling on for ten or fifteen minutes. In the end, even when making videos for a third party was making me money, I became miserably burnt out with the frustration that the video content was creating for me.

With vlogging turning into a disaster, I tried to return to blogging. But by that point, I was so creatively burnt out that I couldn’t focus on anything meaningful. I couldn’t form any sort of coherent plan for blogging, so I resorted to trying to build a social media management and content marketing business. After I went broke, I decided to do something incredibly spontaneous, which was to create The Phoenix Desertsong website.

Finally giving myself the creative freedom I desperately needed and all the time in the world to build a personal brand was what I needed. Within a short time I met the love of my life and we formed a creative partnership that became one of love, as well. You may consider me simply incredibly fortunate, but giving into a sudden need to be spontaneous can have surprising results no matter who you are or where you are in life.

These days, I’ve finally been able to focus on my one best skill, writing, while pursuing my lifelong dream of authorship. While I’m not sure yet what books I will actually write, I do know that at least one will be about identifying the moments in life that we should appreciate more. 

When things feel too ordinary or routine  it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that life is an amazing gift. We need to step back from our immediate concerns once in a while just to appreciate the little beauties and complexities around us. Take a moment to breathe and do something spontaneous at least once a day. I’ve found that it’s a good habit to get into.

Related: From Muse to Movement | How Forever is Composed of Nows | When Luna Glares, I Listen

Amelia Desertsong is a former content marketing specialist turned essayist and creative nonfiction author. She writes articles on many niche hobbies and obscure curiosities, pretty much whatever tickles her fancy.
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