As I sit here and fantasize about taking three months off from work altogether to write (even though it would be STUPID because I have yet to make a dime off my writing and I’m not quite sure the work I have now that lets me have as much time as I do to write while still allowing me to pay my bills would want me back), I thought it would be good to share a few recent blog posts.
First, have I said how much I love Chuck Wendig? I love him. Even though I tend not to love hairy men who talk about their bodily functions. He is the exception. He posted this bit of brilliance the other day: It’s Half-Past “You Should Quit Writing” O’Clock
It made me laugh. A lot. Especially since someone mentioned that best-selling author who only made $12,000 dollars to me just the other day. I mean, if a best seller can’t make more than $12,000…(So not true, of course. Flawed thinking.)
A few quotes:
“Writing isn’t here to make you miserable. Why do that to yourself? Why do that to the rest of the world? Not everybody gets to be everything they want to be….Find your fucking bliss, dudes and dudettes.”
“It’s not about talent. It’s about possessing the desire to do it and then the discipline and diligence to back it all up. You’re not born a penmonkey. You choose to be one.”
“Whatever happens, stop blaming other people for your failures. Stop complaining. Stop dicking around. Start doing that thing you want to do and do it with all the love you can fling into it. If you’re a writer, you’ll write. If you’re a quitter, you’ll quit. And if you’re some other thing, find that other thing and be that. Follow your path. Know your truth. Ride your spirit animal into the supernova or some shit.”
On the theme of making money at this and how you do so, here’s another good post from Rachelle Gardner: Make a Living as Writer – Part 1
“The secret to making a living wage as a writer lies in two words: volume and variety.”
“You’ve got to methodically and strategically build your career. The writers who are doing it full time are able to do it because they have a large volume of product out there, and they’re having enough success that their audience keeps growing.”
That’s the answer to the “only $12,000” gripe above. Write well. Write often. Build a steady following.
And, to take this beyond being a writer, I thought this was an excellent article for anyone to read: Jeff Haden on The Best Definition of Success Is the One You Never Use.
I think it’s clear from my prior posts that at some point in time I decided that working eighty hours a week and having no personal life didn’t make me happy no matter what I earned or how important anyone thought I was. But it’s a different equation for each person. This article makes the point that, whatever path you choose, you should be happy with it.
“Granted success in business and in life means different things to different people, and should mean different things to different people. Whether or not you feel successful depends on how you define success — and on the tradeoffs you are willing to not just accept but embrace as you pursue your individual definition of success.”
“That’s because your profession, your family and friends, your personal pursuits… no aspect of your life can (or should) ever be separated from the others. Each is a permanent part of a whole. Putting more focus on one area automatically reduces the focus on another area.”
“So forget traditional definitions of success. Forget what other people think. Ask yourself if you feel happy — not just at work, not just at home, not just in those fleeting moments when you do something just for yourself, but overall.”
Of course, by the criteria in this article, I really do need to quit that job that pays the bills and jump both feet first into writing. Of course, maybe I should wait until I’ve managed to get something, anything published? Maybe. That would be prudent.
Then again, if my job sucks my energy so I’m not in a mindset to write, then I’ll never get there will I? But if I quit it to write and find that I’m not yet ready for that step and then find that I can’t go back to what I was doing before and need to take some other job that pays less so requires more hours from me, then what?
Ah, the Catch 22…