It’s fair to say that I’ve spent about 25 years sorting out not what is important, but how to tell what is important…and then sorting out whether what is important really ought to be, and what to do about it if it oughtn’t be so important.
Frighteningly, I have most of that sorted out. Why is that frightening? Because it’s been taking up most of my time and energy, and with that off my plate (or at least off to one side of my plate) there’s time and energy to deal with other things.
This has been a sort of shadowy feeling in the back of things for me, but yesterday it moved to sharp relief. I was concerned about my reasons for writing. Not the writing itself, not how to do it or when I would find time. I was concerned that perhaps my reasons for writing at all were pathological and should be treated in therapy by a strong willed professional armed with whip, chair, and thorazine. See, I get a rush when I receive a acceptance letter, and another when my work is suddenly out there for everyone to read.
Okay, stop laughing. My concern was that I was basing my self-regard on the basis of the value others placed on me; ie I was worthwhile because someone would publish my work. Sure, that motivation would move me right along, but it was faulty in premise and would all end in tears. I was paralysed with doubt; could I, in all conscience, continue to write when I was feeding this horrible breakage in my psyche?
Shannon pointed out, at this stage (fifteen minutes or so into my thought process) that I had been writing for years without publication or payment. ”Oh, that’s all right, then,” I said, and finished my first draft of Wet Footprints.
Clearly, things are much more self-evident in my head these days; short months ago I would have agonized for days before I said anything, and then would have held severe reservations on the findings of impartial consultants.
So. (There’s always a “so”, with me; every thought has its resultant action, otherwise what’s the point of thinking?)
So. Since things are clear, I worked out a Map To Success, have formulated several concrete steps to take along various paths, and have realized that I am (finally) approaching a point where I can make plans and have reasonable expectation that I won’t let the ducks nibble the footings out from under them. So I have (a year after my mentor suggested I do so) downloaded Consistency, and have set it up for use. Go me.
My Map To Writing Success:
I want to write stories, publish them, and be paid so that I can write more stories more of the time, because I love telling stories and entertaining people (and, yes, holding their attention); therefore, I will write as much as I can sustainably until I am writing daily and submit what I write for publication. My passion is what makes people tick — I spend silly amounts of time thinking about that — and being whimsical. Those can only add depth to my writing.
Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry