Turning Writing into a Career Goal

Beyond the AIP and my day job, I’m also an aspiring author. I write on a daily basis, edit when needed, and (try to) query, but I’ve never really thought about what I want out of my writing. It was always a nebulous yes I would like to be published, please. I write for myself – because otherwise the stories would stay stuck forever, unformed, inside my head. That’s gotten me through many years of life and with quite a few full and complete novels in my back drawer, most of which will never see the light of day.

I’ve got the writing and editing thing down pat. But it’s taking that extra step, crossing the divide between private and public that’s been frustrating me for the past year, year and a half. Last year I resolved to get fifty rejections – which necessitated sending out well over fifty queries. Unfortunately, I allowed my fear of rejection to paralyze me and I never reached my goal. I came up short – way short – at around seven or eight rejections, only one of which was not a form letter.

I’ve been saying I’d get back to it since November, but instead I’ve just been spinning my wheels. Coming up with excuses, piling them on top of each other until they reach the stars. So I’m changing my trajectory again, since I’m way undershooting. It’s obviously not working to just tell myself I need to query. I’m terrified to fail. But I’ve got to make room for failure.

I also need to shift the way I think about writing. This isn’t just for me anymore. This is for my wife, my family, for the audience I will one day have. I came across this quote on pinterest recently, and it hit home – hard:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world.” – Marianne Williamson

This is not just for me.

So I’m refocusing. If this is a career, for real, then that means no excuses. That means deadlines and objectives. I’m going to write down every excuse I have and methodically eradicate it. Part of this will include streamlining the process. Part of this will also include a handy little thing called Habit RPG. It’s this simple online RPG where you gain experience and levels and items by completing goals and sticking with habits. You can even schedule things on there, a feature which I intend to use fully.

I’ve set up three objectives for this year: query to exhaustion (of agents) MA, finish rewriting and have betas read GW, and write a rough draft of something new. This is also a good template to use for future years, to keep making progress happen – query, edit, write new.

My first deadline is February 1st. I will have my query and synopsis completely done and ready to go for MA. I’d say “or else,” but there is no or else. I will do it.

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1 Comment

Filed under goals, writing

One response to “Turning Writing into a Career Goal

  1. And writing, being a work-at-home job, is compatible with naptimes and after-bed-times if you have a small person to take care of.

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