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The Maddening Reality of Being Poor and Exceptionally Talented

Trying to make it as a creative & gates slamming shut on dreams.

By Sai Marie JohnsonPublished 6 months ago 3 min read
The Maddening Reality of Being Poor and Exceptionally Talented
Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

As I sit here, my heart overflowing with a bittersweet symphony of emotions, I find myself grappling with the stark contrast between the pinnacle of professional success and the harsh realities of my personal life. Within the span of a mere two hours, I experienced the zenith of artistic validation and the profound depths of personal despair.

Earlier today, I received the most exhilarating news of my life. My screenplay, a project I've poured my heart and soul into, had been met with resounding acclaim from a leading studio/distributor production house. My words, the result of countless hours of toil and sacrifice, had captivated the minds of industry heavyweights, drawing comparisons to iconic films like Mission Impossible and The Bourne Identity.

The Head of Development, an individual whose discernment and taste are the envy of Hollywood, expressed profound admiration for my work, praising its originality, suspense, and emotional resonance. Their words echoed like a symphony of encouragement, affirming my belief in my abilities and igniting a spark of hope that my passion for storytelling could one day translate into tangible success.

Yet, amidst the euphoria of this incredible recognition, my heart ached with a profound sadness. My personal life, a stark contrast to the glamour of Hollywood, is a constant struggle against relentless adversity. I am 90% deaf, a physical limitation that has presented numerous challenges throughout my life. My two sons, both confined to wheelchairs, face the daunting prospect of a terminal illness. Our humble existence is confined to a one-bedroom apartment, where we make do with meager resources, barely scraping by on an annual income of just over $20,000. To make ends meet, I rely on Medicaid, a lifeline that provides minimal support but remains essential to our survival.

Despite these overwhelming challenges, I have never surrendered my passion for writing. It is my lifeline, my escape from the harsh realities of my circumstances. Through the power of words, I find solace, inspiration, and a sense of purpose. Day after day, I pour my heart and soul into my craft, weaving tales of adventure, suspense, and human connection.

The recognition from the studio has ignited a flicker of hope, a tantalizing prospect that my dream of seeing my screenplay come to life could finally materialize. However, the harsh reality of my financial situation looms large, casting a shadow of doubt over the possibility of achieving this dream. I lack the capital to bring my screenplay to life, and the support of angel investors, family, or a large fan base remains elusive.

The realization that my financial limitations may forever hinder my dream of making my screenplay a reality is heartbreaking. Despite being lauded as an "amazing writer" by multiple producers, the stark reality is that without the necessary financial backing, my dream remains just that – a dream.

The writer's strike, a testament to the resilience of the creative community, ignited a glimmer of hope that the system could be reformed, creating a more equitable and accessible landscape for aspiring writers. Yet, the bitter truth remains that for those of us without the financial resources, the path to success remains as elusive as ever.

As I sit here, the contrasting emotions swirling within me, I am reminded of the resilience of the human spirit. Despite the trials and tribulations that life throws our way, we persevere, clinging to the hope that our dreams may one day find fruition. I will continue to write, pour my heart and soul into my craft, and hope that one day, my words will not only entertain but also inspire and ignite change.


About the Creator

Sai Marie Johnson

A multi-genre author, poet, creative&creator. Resident of Oregon; where the flora, fauna, action & adventure that bred the Pioneer Spirit inspire, "Tantalizing, titillating and temptingly twisted" tales.

Pronouns: she/her

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