I mentioned in a prior update that I stumbled upon three questions every creative type should be asking themselves, by way of Dan Blank. To recap, they are as follows:
What do I hope for with my creative work?
What is the smallest action I can take?
How can I develop this practice in my already busy life?
Incidentally, he also tweeted this out recently:
Good morning! Today I’m writing about the value of sharing one’s creative work WAY earlier than many think. Do you resist sharing your work? Why? #amwriting
— Dan Blank (@DanBlank) December 8, 2017
I am lumping speaking openly about my answers to the Three Questions into the category of sharing my creative work too soon. I have read the Tao Te Ching, which is adamantly opposed to drawing attention to your work, lest it be sabotaged overtly or subtly. I am no Taoist, but I suspect their influence has rubbed off on be a bit too much, in some ways.
Thus: Here are my answers.
I want to transition to a full time author.
I took some time today to “gussy up” (for me) and pose for author headshots. You’re not supposed to do your own, because reasons, I guess, but whatever, I did it. It’s on my site now! You can see it on every page, including the all-important “About” page. Progress!
An out-take was used for the featured image for this post. I’m all kinds of versatile.
I will add that if all else fails, I read something about the industry nearly every day.
This was answered by default, by way of my daily schedule. Day job first (Monday – Friday), time with Jaime and the dogs, then writing, with a 1500-word quota per session, per day. I write on weekends as well, usually in the late hours.
Work/home/work-life balance has been challenging, and I’m feeling negative physical effects, such as an aching tailbone. I sit a lot, and I try to get up and move around as often as possible (another benefit of hoofing it around Disney World), but the fact is, writing is work, it requires me to sit, and I sit more than I did a year ago. Tradeoffs.
For professional and personal reasons, I have been very reluctant to openly state my answer to #1. But you know what? Ever since Jaime and I met, our lives have been structured around working toward a goal and achieving it, whatever it is. We moved to Florida on a shoestring, with no jobs lined up. We’re still here, and gainfully employed. Our friends and family still can’t believe we did it.
Whether 2018 or 2038 is the year I make the leap to professional (meaning full time, and making money) author has no bearing on my day job. I’ll work there until I don’t. I don’t think that’s particularly controversial.
What I can’t abide is not trying, or squandering the opportunity to make it as an author. Too much else has slipped through my fingers, for all kinds of reasons. God willing and the creek don’t rise, you will have the opportunity to read my published works in 2018.
Another salient question is asked in the new series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which applies to anybody who works in any capacity:
But do you love it?
I can say, without hesitation or caveat, yes, I love it.