The Red Dress Club

I like to say that when I became a father I gained the right to tell stupid jokes and to repeat the same old stories time and time again. That is not really a good excuse or suitable beard for saying again that I have been blogging since before Noah built that little boat of his.  This blog is a part of who I am and has done more for me than I can properly express. It reminded me about what I really want to do with my life…write.

If you asked me to list the things that I love and need writing would be up around the top of the list. Writing is what I do. I am not exaggerating when I say that words are my tears and my laughter. I don’t say that there is a fire in my belly for effect or to be melodramatic. It is the truth. I am a very intense person. Ask those who have had a relationship with me and they will tell you that the fire burns too brightly for some. They’ll tell you that I can wear you out and that I can drown you in passion. I can have the opposite effect upon you as well.

But isn’t that the case with so many people. Our strengths are also our weaknesses. I make no apologies and ask for no forgiveness for these things. I am who I am and that is ok with me. The man in the mirror is many things, not all good but not all bad either.

For the first five years of blogging I spent the majority of my time living in my own private blogosphere. I guarded my identity fiercely and was cautious about interacting with other bloggers. Over time that has changed somewhat and I have opened up my world a bit. I suppose that you could say that turning 40 made me look at life more critically. Or maybe it was the fact that three of my contemporaries died that year. Four children lost their mothers. Six parents lost daughters and a son. Husbands lost their wives and siblings lost a brother/sisters.

It was enough of a wake-up call to make me admit that I was thoroughly unsatisfied with life. While there were many good things that I was very happy with there were others that were not good. Things that dragged me down and left me feeling less than fulfilled. So I made a number of decisions and put several plans in motion. One of the central goals was to try and become a professional writer. In the decades since I graduated from college I have had moments in time where I worked as a writer, but I never earned enough to support a family.

Consequently I took positions that provided the kind of income I was interested in earning. Some of those positions made me very happy. I enjoyed the work and the people I worked with. But nothing stays the same and over time I found myself searching for something that would be better suited for me.

So during the past 18 months or so I have successfully taken steps to make these changes into more than pipe dreams.  I am pleased to say that I have made progress. I have been working a freelance writer for more than a year now. My work has appeared in publications that you know as well as others that you might not. Slowly but surely I have been building a portfolio and a network.

With some more hard work and some luck I’ll find the writing position that I am looking for. In the interim I am continuing to do what I can to improve my writing and to try and increase my exposure to potential employers and opportunities. That is part of why I started wearing The Red Dress. It is not just because I have the shoulders to rock that sucker or because when I wear heels I am damn sexy. Rather it was with the intent to join a community of writers. The Red Dress Club describes themselves as The Write Women but I can tell you from experience that there are more than a few men hanging out there.

I have enjoyed the writing that I have done based upon their prompts. I am also rather proud of the results. I think that the four posts below are pretty good. Stay tuned because there is more to come.

These heels hurt my feet.

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  1. 30ish Mama March 8, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    I keep coming across pieces written for The Red Dress Club prompts and I am almost always impressed. I have never written fiction and that makes me hesitate, but I know I would like to try some of those prompts. You are right, writing often is the path to writing well. Also, I look sensational in red… I was wearing a red dress when I met my husband : )

  2. Jack March 7, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Hi T.T.,

    Or should I say greetings from a fellow Taurus. You happened to comment just above or below me at Scary Mommy’s place.

    Writing is something that I love. I can’t say that I have profound advice but I do have some. Write often and read frequently.

    • Talkative Taurus March 9, 2011 at 5:42 am

      Ya know, Jack.. I thought that very thing when I was reading your post that you had to be a Taurus, but I forgot about it once I got to the bottom. I really should take notes while I read posts because I always forget the other stuff I wanted to comment on. Us Taurus folk are fun to be around, especially when we get passionate about things.. which is often.

      So glad we stumbled over each other elsewhere. I’ll be checking out more soon.

  3. Talkative Taurus March 7, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    I am thoroughly impressed with your writing for as much as I’ve read this evening, and I look forward to reading more. You are an inspiration as I have always wanted to be a writer myself. Thanks for stumbling onto my blog (however it happened) and for the comment today! I am following you a lot of places now, and I’m going to check out the Red Dress Club, even though I hate wearing heels.. and a dress. 🙂

  4. Abby March 7, 2011 at 4:48 am

    I don’t mean to freak you out, but I hear so many of my own thoughts echoed in your opening sentiments. While there are good things in my life and I’m paid to write words, I feel unfulfilled and long to be more of the writer I know I can be (and support myself–minor detail.)
    Because of you I’ve found The Red Dress Club as well, and although I have yet to actually participate–fiction is not my forte–I have been exposed to some inspiring writers. From your blog I have gained that little spark of hope that maybe I can do more with my writing. I don’t know how and I don’t know when, but each post of yours I read makes me want to put on a Red Dress and rock the keyboard. For that, I thank you!

    • Jack March 7, 2011 at 7:04 pm

      I am not freaked out at all. That is just part of blogging, finding like minded individuals. As for the Red Dress, it doesn’t have to be fiction. The posts could be real stories. I like trying to walk a line where it is unclear to the reader as to whether I experienced it or made it up.

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