In a week a very good friend of mine is moving away. She isn’t moving far away, only a 4 hours drive upstate. But as someone who doesn’t drive 4 hours by car is a long distance for me. I know I could do a road trip and visit her on the weekends but that is not the same as having her live just around the corner that I can call on to go to Starbucks and waste away an afternoon. Our Monday Night Pizza Night is dead, there really isn’t a reason for me to go if she is not around. $0.99 pizza is a good deal, but I do it for companionship, not the food.
Her pending departure and the fact that it is March has made me look at the goals that I had set for myself in 2013. 2013 is supposed to be a big year for me, a complete change to the course of my life.
- Transition for having a job to having a career
- Publish Something
- Save Money
When I ran down my check list. I realized that I have done very little to achieve these goals.
I took with me the same bad habits that kept me from getting ahead in 2012 (and all the years before that) into 2013.
At some point in my life I became a Professional Procrastinator. I don’t know when or where but that is what I am.
It is a hard profession to break away from.
I am great about sitting down and making plans but when the day comes for me to put them in action, I push them off until tomorrow.
This morning I sat down and wrote 745 words. Which is great! I got words on the page. Which is something that I do sporadically. So, sporadically that I have yet to complete anything. Not my two novel length WIPs or my short story. But at word 745 I hit a road block and while trying to figure out how to make an otherwise adorable character an evil little brat, I started to think about my writing goals. Which lead me to think about my life goals. Which lead to think about my friend leaving.
Which lead me here to this rambling on a blog (that I forget that I have ) about how I have completed nothing in the first three months of the year.
What does this have to do with writing?
Everything. The pattern of my life reflects the pattern (or lack thereof) of my writing. Sometimes, I move forward and do things that will help me achieve my goals. Just like sometimes I will sit down and put words of the page.
But today I came to a realization that in order for me to achieve my goals in my writing I must first take steps to achieve my goals with my work.
Right now, I have a job but what I really want and need is a career. Just like with my writing. Right now I am an aspiring author but what I want to be is a published author.
Somehow. the two goals have become intertwined. When I am working on both at the same time, then I feel like I am getting something done. When I am doing only one, something is missing and eventually I stop and both end up neglected.
Most, people would ask “Don’t you want to make a living off of your writing?”
The short answer: Yes
The long answer:
I try to be a realist. As a literary/contemporary fiction writer I know that my market shares are small. As someone who writes primarily about Black Americans my market shares are even smaller. As someone who plans to self-publish I know that the chances of me making a living off of my work are slim. There is probably someone out there that would will list a number of self-published authors that make a living off their writing. But, realistically, they are the exception not the rule. Therefore, I need something that will pay my bills and that is where the job comes in… but the job is stressful and it only provides me enough to just pay my bills and set aside a little extra. Like many Americans I am basically living paycheck to paycheck. Besides, my job right now is not stable, in fact I am watching the company that I work for not so slowly sink. I need to jump ship before it is completely underwater and I have to start collecting unemployment.
Which brings me back to my goals and writing. My hope is that one day, that my writing will provide a second source of income so that I can save money for traveling and retirement, maybe even a house one day. While my work will allow me to pay my bills and eat. They go hand in hand.
Which basically brings me to the point of this blog post:
I need to get my ass in gear and get shit done.
789 just to say that.