Tag Archives: taking stock

Writer on the Road – Day 4

We’re back in civilization tonight and had Whataburger for dinner for the first time in almost 6 months. For those of you who know what that is, you know how fantastic I found my meal after being away from it for so long.

We left Utah today and made it into New Mexico. With only two days of driving left, I spent a lot of time today thinking about writing and what I want for my life. 

When I first started writing, I had no intention of ever being published. I liked to write because it helped me escape from reality but it wasn’t what I wanted to be when I grew up. I shared with my friends, and while they enjoyed it, I never thought I’d one day try to sell my work. 

I kept up the work, even when I didn’t think I’d make it a career, until about three years ago I realized it’s what I want to do with my life. That being said, I’ve never been published. I’m not writing to pay the bills yet, I’m writing still out of passion, so I don’t have to worry yet about the career side of the writing world. 

As I realized this, I had to ask myself, do I really want a career as a writer? Do I want the work as well as the play? Why not just be a hobbiest, why do I want to be recognized as an author?

Being a hobbiest and being a professional are two totally different animals. There’s nothing wrong with either of these, but it’s important to be honest with yourself. 
Everyone has to answer that question to themselves. For me, I decided on day four of my drive that I wanted to be a writer, not because of the romance, but because I like the work. I like the hours bent over a manuscript. I love the feeling of starting a new idea. And as much as I complain, I even enjoy the editing. 

Work isn’t some four letter word to me as so many creative types make it out to be. It’s something I find myself embracing. Writing is as much of a career choice as it is a way to share my love of stories with others, and that’s why I’m perusing a job as a writer.

It was a nice realization and it’s fueling my fire as I keep on writing this November. I love the work that gets put into books, and I can’t wait to jump into the career side.

I don’t know why you write, but please let me be clear. Everyone’s reason is a valid one. If you want a career as a professional writer, you go after it with all the fire you’ve got. Everyone has their drive, tell me yours below and let’s share the love of the job! 

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Writer on the Road – Day One

Between my normal writing schedule, I’ll be doing a mini series about my life on the road. I’m going through some massive life changes and starting NaNoWriMo, so this series will be a little bit about how to stay productive while writing, but also just about my trip in general.

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I won’t bore you on what it’s like to check out of military housing. I could fill a book about my life of dealing with the government as a military spouse, and that’s really not something I want to write about. I’ll just leave it at, it was annoying, but typical, and we were quickly on the road.

We headed down to Portland, a place I only know anything about because of a quick google search of “Is Portland really like Portlandia?”, and took a drive long the Columbia River.

What struck me as crazy was seeing the damage done by the fires. Not because of how everything was black and dead, in fact it was the opposite. I was admiring the striking green of new grass against the charcoal black tree trunks and fresh pine needles pushing through scars, all the while thinking, anyone can recover from anything if nature can come back from a fire like this.

It wasn’t till I saw the simple white crosses hammered into the ground did it really hit me. This wasn’t just nature, people were recovering, too. For miles, the recovery wasn’t just something you could see, it was something you could feel.

It put life in perspective. Here are people who have truly lost, not just land or houses, but loved ones. Family and friends they cared about are gone forever, and here I am driving through just admiring how nature’s recovering. Heck, the hardest thing I had to put up with today was arguing with a housing inspector. My drive became somber and even humbling, as I really took stock of how much I had.

Stress is easy to let creep up on you. Here I was, worried about my novel, trying to set up a house to move into, and get through military paperwork. I thought, “How am I going to get through the first part of this month”, all the while others out there are asking “How am I going to get through this day?”.

So when you start to feel stressed, take stock in your life. Be grateful for what you have, because you never know when you could lose it. Got a deadline looming? Dealing with real life mini stressors while writing your novel? Look at what you have instead of what you don’t have. It really will give you a new outlook on how much you have on your plate.