Living your writing dream calls for courage, the confidence to believe it can happen for you, and self-discipline. That’s a tough call, but writers are an incorrigible bunch.
I once worked on the top floor of a skyscraper, spending my time and energy not on my own writing but on another person’s dream, chained to my desk by “golden handcuffs.” If you’re unfamiliar with that expression, it refers to a kind of prison walled by status and a secure paycheck.
My company tried to expand too quickly and eventually declined into bankruptcy. This caused my prison walls to tumble down, freeing me to pursue a writing career. At times I’m still chained to my desk, but these days I live my own dream.
Living Your Writing Dream WellWe writers can take a lesson from what happened to my company. You see, we also face the temptation to build empires. We have big imaginations and a certain brass. Like my former company, we can want too much, too soon. And yet every advance we make requires careful attention.
Each genre calls for a separate audience, for example. There are those who will tell you not to write in more than one genre (I do), and this is why. Its important to weigh the costs of such decisions. You have to be willing to pay them. If you want to teach writing to other writers, be prepared to master your own writing craft. Producing multiple books in a year puts more time demands on a beginner than a writer with more experience.
There’s not a thing wrong and everything right about letting yourself be where you are as a writer. Accepting your limitations can prove a safeguard and gives you permission to grow.
What if my company had taken the time to stabilize before attempting to expand? I don’t know why decisions were made as they were. Maybe the competition was breathing down our collective neck. As writers we can also rush into things, afraid we’ll lose out. With so much riding on success, it’s easy to get caught in the competition trap.
However, no one can communicate with your writing voice, a fact that makes the path before you all your own.
Pacing in a novel takes a good deal of thought. For a plot to work, everything must happen in a timely manner. If an action comes too soon or too late, it loses impact and disenchants readers. Pacing your writing career takes the same kind of concentrated effort.
Let your own story flow in a logical manner, and don’t be in such a hurry to reach the destination that you miss the journey.