Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A new path in life

One of the reasons why I pursued writing for publication was to be of service to people. To help people in some way and do something good for the world. My first writing job was actually writing for a newspaper and I felt a deep sense of satisfaction knowing that I was helping people to get their stories told and get information out there. This continued when I was working as a freelance writer and writing for a newspaper for the deaf. I wanted to do something that mattered and that helped others. And for a while, that worked. It worked as well when I was writing books.

But then things took a turn. I no longer could get a writing job or sell any articles. Sales of my books stagnated and I started getting rejections on other books. The only publishing companies willing to publish my books were ones that required payment for something or other.

So I spent some time deciding on whether or not to continue on that path. And, ultimately, I decided that it was time to go in a new direction. Do something different in life.

But for the longest time, I couldn’t figure out what it was. I decided to just try everything – apply for everything – but I kept being told no, and turned away.

After over 2 years of this, of just floating through life doing nothing, it started to take a toll. Of course I knew that I was making a difference to my kids, at least. I was useful to them. But I am just the kind of person who needs to be doing MORE than just what I can do for my family. I mean, I have nothing against stay-at-home moms devoting themselves to family and home. That’s great! But I needed to do more in life. I needed to do something bigger.

And the fact that I couldn’t make that happen for so long was REALLY starting to upset me. I tend to fall into these deep funks of depression and can be down in the dumps for a few days, so that’s pretty much what happened recently. It got so bad that I started to wonder why I even existed anymore. I’m not useful to the world or to society. I’m not doing anything important for the greater good. I was just a waste of space!

Like I said, just floating through life.

That’s unacceptable!

I NEED to be doing something useful for people. I NEED to be of service, be helpful to others and serve in a capacity that improves the lives of others.

And I can’t do that just being at home.

So, yeah, I was upset about it. It has made me feel despondent and left me in tears. I just wanted to fade away from the world since I’m not doing anything good for it.

And I know I could have volunteered, but things are pretty dire with my home life right now (kind of living in a house that is sinking and we can’t afford to move!), so even as I would have LOVED to volunteer, I had to focus on something that would help supplement my family’s income. (I do hope to volunteer at some point in the future but I have to focus on getting work first.)

So, I was pretty much just stuck. I didn’t know what to do. The writing wasn’t working as a source of income anymore, so that was out. And I was pretty limited on what else I could do because I don’t have a college degree, don’t have a lot of “real world” work experience (I spent YEARS working from home), I am profoundly deaf and I also have limited physical skills because of my left hand and bad feet (which I DO hope to improve someday).

Still, I wasn’t going to allow that pile of obstacles make me give up. I AM NOT going to give up! I can find SOMETHING to do for a job and figure out a way to make things work.

Then last night, I dreamed that I was working a particular job. I was an assistant to the disabled. The work I was doing in the dream was helping a young girl in a wheelchair get around to wherever she needed to go. One particular destination was a concert. And while I’m not much for concerts (really can’t hear the music, ya know? Though I do like to watch dance moves), I stuck around while she was there enjoying the show. And I noticed how happy she was to be at that concert, how her face just lit up and she was just so thrilled to be there, that I felt good about playing a part in making sure she got a chance to be there. I just felt good about being able to make that experience for her happen because I helped her to get there.

And when I woke up from that dream, I said, “That’s it!”

That is what I want to do. That is what I NEED to do: Help the disabled. Hey, I’m disabled myself, so I pretty much understand the limitations we gotta deal with in this world. And even though I was turned down from a job to help the deaf because my signing isn’t perfect (again, left hand problems), I felt I can still do SOMETHING to help the disabled. Just like I was helping that girl in the wheelchair in the dream – I can do that! (Heck, I know how hard it can be to get around in a wheelchair!) And I can do some other things too.

Some people may look at me – with the burn scars, the left hand and maybe even realize I am also deaf – and think that I can’t do anything. In fact, growing up, my dad kept telling me I can’t do things every time I shared an idea or a goal. I was always told “no.” I was always told “you can’t.” (My dad did support my attempts to be an author, but after my first book did not become a bestseller and I wasn't making millions of dollars, he gave up on me.)


I won’t give up trying to do things because people say “you can’t.” I have come too far in life to just give up because someone thinks I can’t do something. Or they tell me “no.”

I believe in myself. And that’s enough – even if I am the only person who believes in myself. I believe that I can do this. And I want to try. I won’t give up if those rejections keep coming in. I won’t give up if I have to apply for that kind of work for two years or longer. I will give it my best effort to make this happen. Because I believe that this is the direction I need to take in my life now. This is what I need to do and this is where I need to go.

And before anybody asks: Yes, I will keep writing. Don’t worry. That stuff is hard to turn off!

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