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Rated: 18+ · Letter/Memo · Contest Entry · #2243075
The time is now, my love. Reach your full potential as a writer.
***Trigger warning***

Mention of childhood abuse and threats but no graphic details

Dear Me,

Don’t be too hard on yourself that you might have to spend another Valentine’s Day without a date. You may not have had a single successful romantic relationship for 30+ years, but everything happens for a reason. Anytime someone tried to silence your voice, you decided you cannot allow that to happen anymore. I applaud you for no longer living in fear once you turned 18 and moved away from your dad who threatened to kill you if you told people what he was doing to do.

You’re born to be a writer!

Since 2005, you knew for sure you were born to be a writer so much so that you felt compelled to choose “it” over everything or everyone else. In fact, you recall that a man you dated at the time you first began your freelance career accused you of trying to write a story about him. This argument you had with this boyfriend started with what you thought was just going to be a typical conversation any two people in a romantic relationship would have. Since then; your mom, siblings, friends, and (future) baes seemed nervous, and you wondered why.

Think of how all the rookie journalists determined to report the truth make people uncomfortable. That’s you. You have a hard time holding back the facts, and people don’t like it. This doesn’t mean you don’t have countless unresolved issues contributing to your relationship failures, but people knowing you’re a writer definitely is a factor. It’s too bad you didn’t realize this sooner. If you had, you might be in a better financial position now, but you chose to stay in your comfort zone.

It’s your fault you haven’t made more money from your writing than you did so far. Don’t get me wrong. You attempted to make your personal story public since 2005, but you did not fully immerse yourself in the process. Try not to beat yourself up too much though. It’s not easy being a word exhibitionist – especially when you still depend on the ties with the people who might have been responsible for the abuse you suffered. You’re running out of excuses, however.

You had every reason to not tell your entire story when you were in your 20s and 30s. After all, you knew you might still find a permanent partner, get married, and have a family. However, now, you’re almost 47, possibly too old for children, and probably will not have a new "boo" for Valentine’s Day. So, what do you have to lose? You are only responsible for you right now, which means you can take this chance to say what you want no matter the cost.

Channel as much anger, resentment, disappointment, devastation, betrayal and hurt as you can into at least one creative work by the 14th. If you’re not ready to publish non-fiction stories, start with fiction. Whether real or made-up, make sure you tap into the emotions and describe the scenes in a way that makes people have no choice but to believe what you say. If you must create fiction, don’t force details into the content that will slow down the plot.

Besides, you can benefit from using fiction to express yourself without having to tell every bit exactly how it happened. Fictitious stories can provide you a similar release as when producing creative non-fiction works. It still helps you spread awareness to the world about manipulation, control, sexual abuse, narcissism, etc.

You’re not going to finish your story in two weeks, but you can at least start. In fact, you already recorded voice and text notes that just need editing and organization. Decide into which story they belong and the order in which they should appear and keep this up until you finally receive the online attention you want.

Reasonable writing goals to accomplish by the big V-Day:

Sort out the dialogues and back stories you recorded into what you can later use as scenes and character descriptions. Each documented section of text and audio will become the start of blog-style journal entries. This collection of scenes you post will entice people to keep reading, listening or viewing as if binge-watching a TV series. If necessary, you might also want to draft a tentative synopsis even if you’re not sure how your story series will end.

To keep track of who your characters are, compile a brief back story for each one. This will help you decide who belongs in each story series, especially if you start more than one production simultaneously. In addition, think of what you hope these journalistic-style entries will become one day.

For instance, do you want to turn them into TV episodes or virtual reality productions with videos, or would you prefer to create a full-length movie? Write down a list of goals that will help you steer the writing process as your fiction or non-fiction stories develop.

Ongoing goals for 2021

You might not currently have any specific deadlines. For now, list tasks pertaining to advancing your writing career as you think of them using Google Tasks, OneNote, Basecamp or other preferred project management software. Focus on completing at least three to four of the most important items on your “to do” list every week for the remainder of 2021.

If you want people to see the stories you write, it’s also time to plan an editorial calendar and use scheduled social media posts to promote them. Before you do this, however, make sure your Writing.com portfolio and personal websites are ready for presentation. Your social media calendar could include live events centered on your story series plus information about your freelance services.

Speaking of freelance services, stop trying to force yourself to take on assignments that bore you that you know don’t pay what you deserve. Instead, seek clients who can use your website copywriting services and will pay you three times as much. With your 10+ years of experience (15 years total), you should have no problem finding at least one full-time client within 3-6 months.

Remember the other goal you had since last year this time too. Part of the reason for becoming a freelancer again is because you now know that more local companies are hiring people who have the discipline to work at home. This could be your chance to find a client who lives near you instead of writing for businesses located halfway across the world.

Don’t stall for too long though. Take advantage of the chances you have now to find the right local gigs before everyone else you know does. On your freelance portfolio sites, also finish describing the uniqueness of the kinds of explainer, promotional and social media videos you can make for your clients. Incorporate storytelling into your productions because you know branded social media stories are a “thing” right now.

You could have improved your financial situation if you had followed through with all these goals in 2014 right around the time your dad ended his own life. Understandably, that might not have been the right time to take your writing to the next level, especially since you also had yet to cut loose an unstable life partner. More importantly, you felt it was your duty to make sure your half-sisters had a safe home because your dad possibly had a terminal tumor when he was still alive.

The Time is Now

It’s 2021 and not 2014, and you now live on your own for the first time in more than two decades after a long string of bad romances. Your sisters also live in a safe home. The time is now. Things did not at all turn out the way you hoped they would in your life – particularly never having been married or had children – but it’s now time to dwell on what you can do in the present while single.

If you can still type and dictate, you can still tell your stories and find the right clients and publishers, so what are you waiting for? It’s time to get started! Besides, the 2020 covid-19 quarantines has caused more local companies to order more employees to work at home. Take advantage of the opportunity to re-enter the freelance world while the pickings are ripe because working at home is no longer taboo like it seemed to be in 2005.
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