Writing is a tough gig. If you don’t think so, you aren’t really a writer. Add to the mix a career in a different field, children, husband, household, pets, doctor’s appointments, school activities (for said children)… well, you get the idea. And this is where I sit. Smack in the middle of all of that. And I write fiction. On most days anyway.
I’m a classic over-achiever. And with my writing I am no different. I make lofty goals. I write my fingers to the bone and then I make small sacrifices to make the dreams a reality. Right now, I’m back at the beginning–a once agented writer with a book on the New York market–who now is back at square one. Agent 1 and I broke-up with no hard feelings (she wanted focus on non-fiction and I was just crushed at losing her), but now I am in a tough situation called Writing the Next Book. And it’s kicking my ass.
I can blame it on the birth of my second child, a couple funerals we attended this month, or starting back at the day job… but in reality, I was reeling from the loss of support of someone deep in the industry. And I’m just starting to see the light at the end of the dusty tunnel.
How do I know I’m coming out the bright end? Well, like I said, I make goals when I’m happy and committed. And, surprise, surprise, I’ve got some new lofty goals staring my down. Here’s the recap of my last set of over-achieveness and my progress. (posted Nov 2, 2007):
- Finish outlining my current novel in the next 2 weeks. COMPLETED: Dec 3, 2007
- Get the first 3 chapters done by the end of the year.
- Have the entire novel in full submission (as in to editors) by August 2008.
You read that right. Only the first is done. Or was done. I’ve decided to tweak it a little. Or a lot. It depends on who you ask. And then, sometime around the new year after dealing with 2 unexpected deaths in the family I decided to make one more major goal– By the time my daughter is rearing for preschool, I’m aiming to have my head above water with my fiction writing, as well as some articles under my belt (read editorial contacts) so that I can quit the Corporate thing and be on my own. That gives me a 2 year window to make it as a writer. Or some sort of writer who supports a major part of her household with her fiction and non-fiction books.
Am I nuts? Likely, but who’s here to stop me? And if your gonna dream–hell, you better dream BIG. There is no other way to dream in my opinion.
So pull up your knickers and let me hear your goals. The real ones. Remember, make them specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely (sorry, can’t take the Corporate out of the worker no matter how hard I try). But I say this to the Corporate speak–the realistic and attainable part is only in the eye of the beholder. Be persistent in anything that you do and you will get success.
And this ends my pep talk for today. Tomorrow, I just might need to re-read this to bring myself back into the game. But for today– ROCK ON!