Reposted from LFE:

When you’ve lived your life in fear and the expectation that you are not worth anyone else taking care of, asking someone to do something for you is antithetical. There’s a large amount of pride involved, the idea that “I can take care of myself, tyvm!” as well as “I don’t need anyone’s help!”

But the reason you say those things is because you don’t believe that anyone will help you. You also have the belief that any help rendered will always be insufficient to the issue at hand. Maybe you were hurt or disappointed. Perhaps someone was deliberately cruel. Maybe nothing major happened, but you still believe it.

What Jrge’lla is going through is something I think everyone relates to in some form or fashion. How can you trust someone when your core belief is that no one can be trusted? It helps to have someone tell you the Truth. When it is the Truth (capitalized on purpose), it seeps into your core beliefs and begins to transform them. Sometimes it’s fast, sometimes it’s not. When Jrge’lla accepts the Truth that Tiki Tavi has spoken to her, that’s when she’ll be able to see and experience the real changes that will take her from enslaved Jregli to free Lady nn ‘Ovvunnith.

Secondly, truth and dare time. If you haven’t wandered over to TV tropes, do so with care (I lost about five days of local time there). It’s fascinating and insightful to see the common themes in story-telling. It’s also humbling and somewhat pride-shattering to realize that you are not as original as you thought you were. By that I mean that I am not as clever as I thought I was.

Yes, Jrge’lla is a Mary Sue. Yes, she is a Self-Insert Author Avatar. And yes, I am using her to work through a lot of my own personal issues and live out my fantasies. Admitting that was really hard for me; after all, all of these are things of scorn and derision.

After a few days of pouting, I got over it. There are enough people who like Jregli/Jrge’lla that the traditional Mary Sue label doesn’t quite stick. I think I’ve done a decent job of making her realistic. Partly because I based her on myself.

I’m pretty smart; while I don’t qualify for MENSA, I’ve got a higher than average IQ. My mental RAM clocks at a goodly speed and I’ve got a lot of data storage capability. So if it seems like Jregli is a little too smart for someone of her age, that’s a slight exaggeration of what is normal for me. I was researching advanced (for my age group) stuff when I was 8. I preferred to listen to the conversations of adults instead of playing with the kids. I took on responsibilities beyond my years. Shoot, I’m researching paleontological biology this week and loving it!

So it seemed reasonable to me that a Main Character would be able to do all that and more. Granted, Jregli is a lot more practical that I am about things. I gather info because I wanted to know, not because I ever intend to do anything with it. (Does that make me a hoarder?) She’s also much more mechanically inclined than I am. So it’s not an exact Avatar, right?

So that leads us to the next trope: Wish Fulfillment. Yes, I wish I could live in deep space and meet thousands of alien beings and have adventures. I wish that some all-powerful being would descend and choose me and poof me into an amazing new body.

I also wish that I would get over my fears and live the life I have available to me rather than sit in a corner and whine about how unfair everything is, cry because I don’t have what I want, and gripe because other people have what I want. Sometimes, you just have to get off your duff and make the effort.

Now that I’ve talked about the truth, time to bring up the dare. I started to be daring back in January when I quit my job to be a full-time writer. I knew that making money at this is very difficult and there would likely be no way to pay my bills and debts. Did I dare to do what I love, what I am made for, or would I stay in the familiar if miserable assurance of steady cash flow? Being able to take care of myself is something I’ve worked hard at over the years.

I chose to make the leap of faith, and I do not regret it in the slightest. I adore being able to spend all day writing, researching for writing, interacting with other writers online, puttering around the house, and spending time with friends. I am working harder and with more dedication that I ever did at a traditional job.

Honestly, though, the fear is still there. Bills are due. Expenses keep coming. Many have urged me to take work doing writing for magazines or newspapers or the like. There’s always the local burger joint, when it comes down to it. Why not take a little side job?

Unless you know a person quite well, their reasons for doing/not doing something will likely not make a lot of sense. I could go on ad naseum about how this is not some piddling “stick it to the man” action or an artistic integrity fight for specious moral superiority, but if you don’t have a working, day-in-day-out knowledge of who I am, then it’s frankly not going to come across how I intend it to. Yay, internet “relationships”.

In short, I’m not taking outside work because that’s not right for me. I’ve thought long and hard about it, and I don’t have peace about supplementing my writing with another job. And I’ve accepted that I will not be able to continue living on the money I used to make. There will be changes; indeed, there already have been.

Now, go back and look at the section I wrote about Jrge’lla having to learn to trust people enough to ask for help. And the part about acting out my own issues in my writing.

I have to learn to set aside my pride very once in a while. There are times to be proud and times to be humble. There are times when, in order to accomplish a goal and do what needs to be done, you … I have to ask for help.

And so, after much ado, I hold out my hand to you and ask for your assistance. I am not unwilling to make an exchange, if you should so desire, and there is a book for sale. Please help me continue to live the life I love.

I don’t know what will happen in the coming days. I don’t know that writing will ever pay the bills for me. I do know that this is where I belong for this season of my life, and I really want to stay here. There are dozens of stories in my head begging for the chance to be told, and the human limitations of not being able to pour them all out right now is annoying, to say the least. But if I’m doing this writing gig all day every day, then there’s less time between updates. And more stories for you!

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

str

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