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Starving Artist?

Updated on February 15, 2012
Writing makes the heart smile  :)
Writing makes the heart smile :)

Who knew?

When I was in third grade I wrote a story about my friends and I getting murdered and trapped in what was supposed to be purgatory. I wasn't quite sure where it was, but I knew what it looked like. It was a small cavern pitted between and below massive clay stones. The pit was full of quick sand, also the same dull orange color of the rocks that pushed in from all sides.

Really, what I had created was a claustrophobic person's worst nightmare. It was small enough of a space just to feel uncomfortable about the enormous rocks towering over and around you. It was dark enough to warn you of the lack of sunlight, but light enough to see the shadowy walls keeping you trapped inside. And possibly worst of all, the floor was unstable and mysterious.

As my friends slowly sank they had time to think of all the possibilities they could possibly face once they finally descended and the sand closed completely over their heads. It seemed like the stuff nightmares were made of. The children sank, but amidst their growing horror of the uncertainty waiting for them, they felt the comfort, however slight, of having friends by their doomed sides. But as all Disney movies teach us: there is always a happy ending, and as we were swallowed up in the scary sand, POOF! We magically came back to life and ended the tale happy to be alive and grateful for our friends! I had fun writing the short story and enjoyed seeing it all stapled together. My clumsy handwriting lined the pages and formed a coherent and exciting (to me) story.

When I received my story back, the teacher had written that she wanted to see me after class. I had never been in trouble at school before and I was sick with nervousness from the note. I recall staring at my words, rereading them, and seeing the capital A on the top of the first page. I didn't see how I could be in trouble if I had received a good grade.

Once class was over and the other students were gathering their lunch boxes and their shiny My Little Pony/ Carebears/ Captain Planet/ Ninja Turtles backpacks the teacher called me to the front of her desk. She was one of my favorite teachers, must nicer than my previous one. I felt a little less nervous when she smiled at me and asked me if I had received any help writing my story. I didn't really know what she meant. She elaborated, as only elementary school teachers can do, and I explained how much fun it had been to write the story and that no one had helped me. She seemed delighted and went on to express her sincere amusement in my assignment. This was the first spark of my relish in writing. I had been singled out and complimented by Mrs. Flaherty. I felt proud of my work. I had never before experienced such a feeling. Pride. It bubbled in my chest and I couldn't smear the smile from my face. I raced to the sidewalk where my mom would be waiting to pick me up. I showed her the story and told her all about my teacher's embellishments on my work and how wonderfully I had done. True to a mother's duty, she made me feel equally as special.

Who knew I would wind up sitting in an apartment, practically begging for a job? One Bachelor's Degree in Creative Writing later and the girl who had started out writing a short horror story in the third grade finally grasps the concept of the "starving artist."

When THEY said 'starving' I had no idea they meant in such a way. Regarding being starved for something to DO. I simply read the statement literally. And literally so wrong. Writers always confess their stories of sitting at home eating nothing but Ramen noodles for months and months on end. Being that I despise Ramen noodles, I completely agree if I had to eat them for more than a single DAY I would consider myself starving as well. But the clincher is I had no foresight to see that no one seems to need a creative writer to work for them. Apart from being able to formulate coherent sentences and occasionally provide quippy comments (my computer thinks I'm making up words), I cannot seem to find the correct niche of jobs. Am I searching the wrong side of the internet? Is it just the tiny town I'm in? Or was my dad right all those times he lectured me about never being able to use my degree? ...Oh God! My Father can't have been right. Parents are Never right! I am officially going insane.

Well, what's a Chickfila worker to do? I thought I was done with fast-food jobs. Oh how wrong I was. At least I won't starve... You get a free meal for every six hours you work. :]

This is Laura, signing off.
Just keep swimming. Swimming in letters, words, sentences, paragraphs, story-lines, plot devices, character flaws, intriguing concepts, quippy comments! Just. Keep. Swimming.



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    • Larael profile image

      Larael 6 years ago

      Thanks Web Examiner. I've been bouncing back and forth a lot with whether or not to stay in South Carolina or pack it up and throw in the towel. I dislike FL an awful lot, but it seems like there would be a much greater market for job openings, since the city of Tampa is so vast.

      But I do appreciate your comment on the forum, it gave me a small learning experience. And what you said IS true. I had an actual real life experience about that very same thing earlier today. It's just something I'm going to have to learn about. Just stepping into the "career" type job searching. A lot to learn yet, but that makes me happy. I loved learning in college and this will be just another type of studying. :)

      I will most certainly check out your business and see what all the Hub-bub is about. (See what I did there?) Also, I responded to your message/e-mail but I'm not sure if you received my response. I wasn't sure if I could reply through gmail. Anyways, thank you again!

      Have a fantastic weekend! =]

    • profile image

      Website Examiner 6 years ago

      Larael, just came to see if you had responded to my previous post. I work for Novelty Fiction, which will be happy to offer you freelancing opportunities, and then references that may help you find what you want. Take care, W.E.

    • profile image

      Website Examiner 6 years ago

      You write well, that I can see. You have captured the situation, which gives a good starting point for finding a solution. I and others will be glad to assist you. W.E.

    • Larael profile image

      Larael 6 years ago

      Thank you. :) I've seen so many articles recently about making money writing articles online...but each time I try and figure out Google Adsense I get frustrated and quit trying. It seems like a lot of misdirection. You only get money if people see your article but then click on adds surrounding your page. It just feels like a huge scam. I don't feel comfortable giving out my bank account information on the internet so they can supposedly deposit money from the traffic that MIGHT accumulate from my blogs. haha, maybe I'm just too much of a critic.

      Keep me posted on anything you find. I'll definitely check it out though. I'm trying to keep up morale, but it's becoming more and more difficult.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 6 years ago from USA

      There are some hubs on here about people that really make a living writing. I wish I could remember the names of the hubs, because I'd really like to help you out. Besides Hubpages they write for sites like Textbroker and some others that pay right away. They put in 8 hour days though. If I can find the hubs I'll get back with you.