Writers Dream of Writing
August is an anniversary month for Writers Ink, the business head for all of my writing, including my three pseudonyms Edie Roones, Remi Black, and M.A. Lee.
- In August, I decided to become serious about my writing so I could make a living doing it.
- Exactly one year after that decision, I changed my daily focus to achieve that decision.
- Two years after, 2015, I published my first book, on August 30, determined to get it out there before another Labor Day passed.
- Three years after, I wrote my first business plan—about 9 months after I encountered the business plan and spent time mulling over the radical idea of a writing business. Radical to me, I guess. And I backed up the five-year biz plan to reflect the previous year’s publications. Might should have backed it up three years?
Looking at those four bullet points, I will admit I’m slow.
The Kindle Revolution started happening in 2010. I bought my first Kindle in 2012, for my birthday. In the summer of 2013, that’s when I figured out how Kindle's effect on the writing world had opened doors for writers seeking independent publication.
I’m slow. Definitely.
- One excuse was my brain-sucking job.
- Another is that I silently contemplate changes before I implement them.
- Third, well, from 2004 to 2010, my life had several drastic changes that twisted all my thinking about. Sleep deprivation, depression, grief, emergency surgery—I barely kept my head above water, not losing my stuffing so I could hold onto my job and figuring out my new perspective on life after focusing for so very, very long on others.
Major life changes can be like tornadoes, demolishing one area and leaving others seemingly untouched until you discover how those areas are tied into the devastated one.
Brain-sucking jobs can be ravaging to people desperate for personal creative expression even as those jobs offer helpful hard skills and soft skills.
This blog, though, is about that first bullet: becoming serious about writing.
How often does anyone have the chance to achieve a lifelong dream?
Dreams are not fantasies.
We all have fantasies. Becoming a major player on a major sports team. Winning the Grammy for Best New Vocalist. Looking super-model perfect all of the time. Winning the Lottery. Becoming a best-selling and wealthy author.
Duke Ellington said, “A dream is a goal with a finish line.”
When a dream is a goal, that goal is attainable after effort over a span of time—a year, three years, five years (which is the reason most business plans are five-year plans). The goal will have mid-term benchmarks based on short-term strategies.
When a dream is a fantasy, it plays and tinkers and feeds the ego. The long-term goal may look attainable, but whole elements of it are dependent on outside forces. Luck is an outside force. The best young player may never have a scout consider their potential. Backing from the music publisher can be a roll of the dice. It’s expensive to have an air-brush makeup artist trailing behind you 24/7.
People fantasize about ideal lives all the time. Ideal is not real. It’s pretty to look at, especially when we’re slogging through the muck of daily life.
Goals with their long-term projects and benchmarks and strategies, those sound boring. Makes the dream sound like a job.
Making a living writing, though ~ That sounds like a dream
Let’s use a metaphor ~ A dream is a goal with legs.
You want to enable that dream for walking? You need to train the proper brain synapses in order to create locomotion.
You want to make that dream walk? You have to train the muscles.
How do you train writing muscles?
- Write. A daily drill of writing. Just like an athlete has a daily physical training drill.
- Study. After all, perfect practice leads to perfect performance (or as close as possible).
- Practice for that performance. Over and over.
Stephen Covey says, “Begin with the end in mind.” Know the ultimate goal of your writing. What are you going to do with it?
1] Keep it to yourself. You’re just playing with writing, aren’t you?
2] Aim for publication. Now you’re in the story-telling business.
Be a great writing athlete. Just do it.