Just about every writer, established or otherwise, has advice on how to get your name out there and what you should do to overcome any fear you might have of becoming a published author. I’ve read any number of articles, novels, and columns detailing that very thing. I’ve made numerous attempts to follow the very steps described…and it just didn’t work for me.
The fact is that overcoming fears, as with many challenges in life, can’t happen until the person is ready. All of the advice, encouragement, cheerleading, etc…in the world won’t do a thing if you’re not in the right mindset. I was not in the right mindset for so long. I wrote for years, collecting thousands of pages over time that did nothing but take up space on my computer and put a weight on my heart.
So, what changed?
I guess this is where you’re waiting for me to say something profound and give you the Magic Key to the Infamous Door leading to Success and Riches. I’ll tell you the truth: I cannot pinpoint the exact moment that things changed for me. I have often worked dead-end jobs that I didn’t particularly like and for people I didn’t particularly care for. That isn’t new and pivotal. I have often longed to do something more and within my desired skillset that would make me feel fulfilled. Again, not new. I have often taken a look at my life and, feeling it wasted, craved adventure and the ability to go where I wanted when I wanted…with no strings tethering me to one particular location or another. Not new!
All that I do know is that I woke up one morning several months back on a day off from work and wondered what I had to look forward to for the day. I looked around and thought, “Okay; I need to clean, do laundry, and check job listings.”
That massive task list took maybe two hours, and by then it was barely 10 in the morning…and something finally snapped. Why was my day essentially only two hours long? What was I going to do for the next twelve hours before it was time to go to sleep so that I could be well-rested for work? Why was I looking at job listings AGAIN, when whatever job I picked would not be the one that I was born for?
The thought of facing yet another long day like that made me very sad. Then I became extremely angry – at myself. I was cheating myself out of something I love very much, and that was no longer acceptable.
So here I am; giving fear the middle finger and venturing forward to immerse myself in what I love. I’m not in it just for money (though a comfortable income would be nice); I just don’t want to wonder anymore. I need to pursue this so I can feel the satisfaction of knowing that the effort has been made. As my grandmother would often say, “Nothing beats a failure but a try.”
The great thing is that perusing job listings wasn’t in vain. I wouldn’t go as far as to say I was born for the work I do now, but it’s definitely well-suited to my secondary skill set and stays challenging enough for me to not want to rage quit every Friday. That, compared to other jobs I’ve held, is a definite WIN.