Saturday, 17 December 2016

Working on Working

Have you ever been so distracted by something that was supposed to make your life easier that it just made your life harder?

I've been doing that for a few years now. I entered sales in order to make my life about writing more about my creative writing so that I could leave work at home and the problem became that I was trying to get into work that involved writing so I could write even more. Problem was, by writing for others I ended up too exhausted to write for myself.

So, I developed a company and a plan to get good at writing for others, my business plan actually won me a $5,000 grant last year. Again, still too tired to do any creative writing my health suffered. I wasn't outputting anything creative! What the deuce was the matter with me?!

Oh well, maybe my drive to succeed was getting in the way of a hobby that would never amount to anything anyways... and then I saw it. It took two years to see it, but I did. That line there was the problem... my hobby isn't my hobby, it's a passion. A passion that has seen me finish four books now (just completed another children's book last week) and has seen me win awards!

What else could I possibly need in a "hobby" and why do I hate the word hobby so much that I put it into quotation marks?

Time for truth?

I was scared of my writing.

Like, super scared.

Reason? It's something I'm passionate about and I love. If my company wasn't doing great I didn't take it personally, if it failed all-together, it didn't matter because I wasn't emotionally invested in it. But what if I failed at writing? What if my stuff is only good in my own mind and not in others'?

What if I was never published, hit by a bus and then buried under a tombstone that read "was never published, what a failure?!" That would seriously suck... and then I realized.

I've already been published. Multiple times in publications I like reading. Newspapers and local newsletters. These are all publications that actually affect my friends and family or communities and I'd already accomplished these things. So, the next thing to do was start filling the nail...

WTF is filling the nail?

Stephen King On Writing says a writer's job is to write and get as many rejections as possible. You put a nail on the wall pointy side out and you send out queries. When you get rejections back you skewer them on the nail until the damned thing is full... then you get a new nail. You start over and fill this one.

Once I focused on this task, the road seemed clear ahead.

Simplify: get rid of this notion that owning a successful business is what would make me feel good about myself and start writing again. Stop focusing on the tasks that are meant to buy you freedom and use the freedom you already have to write.

Start getting some scripts circulating again to agents and publishers.

Get writing again...

Nailed it.... (I know you're groaning...)

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