A Shout Out For Perseverance by Maureen Eich VanWalleghan


Recently, I had two appointments with a “spiritual coach.” A woman whom I know through my film work. I knew that she did other things besides acting and one day I bumped into her card on my desk. It was in a basket and I sifted passed it as I was looking for another little piece of paper. Since I am at a place where I am feeling the rejection of not yet having my short film accepted into any of the biggy film festivals where I submitted, six rejects so far…I have been feeling a little deflated. And having an English course not make this semester, I have also been struggling to keep a head of my portion of the family expenses. Just a little beat up is how I am feeling these days.


After my second appointment (which she let me do at a very much reduced rate) she told me I needed to watch Finding Nemo. So I put that on my list of “to do”s. Lucky for me my five year old kept asking to watch it after I brought it home. So the beauty of this site, Motherhood Later, is that most readers will be somewhat familiar with Finding Nemo, possibly having watched in the very recent past, say…maybe last night or last week even. Or maybe the movie is irrevocably burned into their memory center since it was played an inordinate number of times as a favorite movie. It’s easy to see how this might happen with the catchy music and brightly colored animation that children so love.


I had seen if before, but I don’t remember when or why. So my daughter and I watched it. If ever there was a movie about perseverance this is it. The father’s search for Nemo and his task to overcome obstacles and his own fear of the unknown was inspiring. Nemo himself is brave and also inspiring, but at this moment on my own personal journey, the father for obvious reasons is where my mind rested. Thinking of my process to change careers and fully embrace my dream to make money doing what I love—writing and making films—is proving an arduous task fraught with many internal obstacles, not the least of which is believing I can do it…meaning make money at it.


The thing that is most intense is being a mid-lifer stuck in the middle of this tight economy. Before I was a wife and mother, I never hurt for work. Now in the last five years I am “over the proverbial hill” and struggling in ways I could never have fathomed. Anyway, watching Finding Nemo reminded me that if I just keep plugging away in my process no matter how slowly I will eventually get to my end goal of supporting myself as a writer and filmmaker. It was a fifteen year journey before I got myself into and through film school. And now, I do have a unique short film to show for it. A film I really love and that I am very happy to have made. It is my vision.


So in an attempt to “keep swimming, just keep swimming’’ I have decided to let folks see my work on my Vimeo site. It is a moment of being brave and throwing myself into the big blue ocean. Maybe someone will see my work and realize that they have a project that I could do for them. Or maybe a few comments of encouragement will come my way. The journey is long and fraught with danger, mostly imagined. Also I am not swimming in my home turf of NYC, but rather very deep into unknown waters of rural Arizona. I don’t just bump into potential clients. The WAHM situation is always tough, but all the more difficult when finding work. It’s not like so many little morsels of work can be plucked at will. So if any reader wanted to check out my work then head over to Vimeo. My student assignment is less than three minutes. The fundraising video is a seven minute investment (my first scriptwriting project ever.) And, my short film, entitled A Blue Uncertain Buzz, is a 13 minute investment in time, but be prepared for crying. It is intense and emotional. Click the link (Maureen Eich VanWalleghan) or paste http://www.vimeo.com/user6053203 into the browser bar.


Here’s to swimming deeper into the unknown. Think of Ellen DeGeneres here, singing: “I am just going to keep swimming, keep swimming, keep writing, keep writing, keep working, keep working.” My dream to become a WAHM working as a writer and filmmaker can happen…I’m just not sure how long it will take to actualize that.



  1. One Response to “A Shout Out For Perseverance by Maureen Eich VanWalleghan”

  2. Good for you Maureen! I so applaud your desire to mesh passion with profit….and to follow your heart and creative dreams. I feel the same, with my current endeavors, writing a play. Most days it feels like a huge daunting task…and perhaps even a pipedream that I would ever successfully finish writing it and have it produced, but then I think why not?! Everyone's gotta start somewhere. So, I'm a member of the Nemo club as well….and us midlife moms can support each other and be positive role models to our kids about believing.

    By Robin Gorman Newman on Apr 16, 2011