That Time I Chose to Become Rachael C Marek

RCM4yrsIt was a little over four years ago when The Sis and I had a conversation.

We were living in Los Angeles, and I had been struggling for nearly a year to find a job.  No exaggeration, I sent out over 250 resumés and only received three responses in return.

I was miserable.  And while writing should’ve given me some solace, I was too concerned about finding paying work, so every time I was on the computer, I felt guilty if I wasn’t doing that.

I barely wrote a word that year.  One of the main reasons for moving to LA – for me to become a professional writer – and I was failing, spectacularly.

It was then The Sis and I had “the talk”.

She was making good money at her job, and she had already been supporting us, so instead of continuing on in such a futile manner, the definition of insanity, I should change tactics and do what I was meant to – write.

It took a little time to become accustomed to the idea that I was being given free reign to follow my dreams, but I realized that I probably wouldn’t have another opportunity like that again, and so Rachael C Marek was born.

I wanted to create a pseudonym, but I still wanted it to be me.  My name really is Rachael (Hi!), and the C is the beginning of one of my middle names, but the Marek, well, that’s thanks to a character I identified with in a book.  It seemed appropriate.

The above reminder popped up last week and it gave me reason to pause.  Had it really been four years since that pivotal moment?!  It made me wonder what I had accomplished in all that time.  I have some writing to show for it.  I still have big dreams.  I still have stories to rewrite, even more to tell…and although I may still be some distance from fulfilling my goal of being a professional writer, I’m in a better place overall and I think that a big part of that started when The Sis encouraged me to become Rachael C Marek.

She deserves a BIG Thank You for years of support of every variety.

And then there’s all of you.  You’ve been welcoming and encouraging, and although I’ve never met you, and maybe never will, we’ve been a part of each other’s journeys, the ups and the downs, and such a community is important to the lowly/lonely writer, so thanks.

xx, Rach


Taking a Little Respite

Some days are rough.  Not just for writers, but for people in general.  There are just so many days when you feel like all you’re doing is swimming against the current.  Being an adult is hard.  So much for high school, even college, preparing us for that wake-up call (no, this is not new to me, I’ve just been reminded again recently).  As for being a creative, those days seem doubled, maybe even tripled.  We have our regular lives, then our creative ones, then the professional ones where we try to get people to notice the creative one.  It’s a constant uphill battle with some little demon at the top throwing down boulders, pebbles, entire buildings…all while laughing at us and our torment as we try to achieve success.

I took my weekend, then as the new week dawned, I started to feel this dread.  As I wait to hear about a writing fellowship I applied for, the whiff of a negative thought has started to worm its way in and make me question my skills.  I had wanted my first screenplay entered as my “sample”, but it wasn’t ready.  I love the script I did submit, but the story is not as unique as the other, although it has spurred me to write two sequels (there’s just so much to write about), and now I’m wondering if that has inhibited my progress in some way.  See, there’s that little demon, working his evil magic.  I realize I haven’t really started to put myself “out there” as a writer until this past year, and the knocks have taken a little getting used to, but as the days compound, doubt creeps in, and I think stepping away from it all to get my head back on straight is the best remedy.  Besides, most people get sick days, so should we.  And then I found out about another approaching deadline, and right now my mind is a blank.  Six weeks…and I’ve got nothing.  And then there’s this potential writing job on the horizon…this is when I decide to have a creative/mental meltdown?!  I don’t have time for this nonsense.  Number one on my professional to do list is to treat my career as if it were already my profession.  So it’s time to get back to work.

Needless to say, I decided to take one “mental health” day.  I completely vegged; no cleaning, no worrying, not even a glance at my computer.  As this blog is meant to serve, in part, as a journal, I’m putting this out into the world and as a reminder to my future self of the times endured and overcome.  Here are a few quotes to help those of you struggling as well.

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”  — Thomas A. Edison — So don’t give up!

“The only thing that stands between you and your dream is the will to try and the belief that it is actually possible.” — Joel Brown — Believe in yourself!

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door. “ — Milton Berle — Create your own success story!


You may have noticed I have a thing for keys.  I like the metaphor they represent.  Let it be a reminder that we hold the keys to our success.  Throw rocks back at those demons, whether in reality or in your subconscious, and persevere!

Best of luck to you all!