I’ve spent many thousand hours working towards that goal, writing stories, editing stories, outlining stories, thinking about stories, reading other people’s stories, writing books, reading books, reading books about writing, talking about writing, listening to podcasts about writing.
Well, I’m not a published author yet. How many times things actually work out the way you thought they would? I’m not worried about that. I’ve learned so many different things that I would never have come across otherwise. I have no regrets. What I’m concerned about is that somewhere along the way, as my deadline to become an author has come and gone, writing started to feel like work. What? How?
The pressure of the expectations that I have of myself kept growing every day until the writing sessions stopped being fun. I started filtering everything I wrote through a ‘how is this going to look like when I publish it’ lens. Ultimately, that mindset keeps me from letting myself fail and writing all those terrible, throwaway stories that need to come out before anything good comes.
Writing is a marathon. If you exhaust yourself during the first couple of miles, you’re never going to see the finish line. That’s how I see it now. I’m in it for the long run. I want to write every day, and have fun writing every day. If anything, I feel that for me, that’s the only way to a sustainable writing life.
Since I’m unlikely to hit the bestsellers lists anytime soon, I’ll be keeping my job. Money needs to be made. I won’t be able to dedicate my life to writing, not at this stage anyway. I’m ok with that. Even if I end up never publishing anything, I will be grateful for the years that I’ve spent writing. And who knows? I might be back posthumously like Kafka, lol.
Until then, no expectations.
What I am reading
This week, I read a very short book by Paul Arden called It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be. Someone recommended it on a couple of podcasts that I listen to. To be honest, I found it slightly underwhelming. It might be because I’ve heard most of the things he mentioned before — definitely more of a reminder than a revelatory read.
I read the following short stories this week:
- Day Off by Ian M Macdonald
- Soft Velour by Emily Harrison
- The Night Tube Has Come by Anna Orhanen
- Fertile Ground by Sylvia Warren
- Waking Early by Geoffrey Heptonstall
- Shapes and Pictures by N Quentin Woolf
- Fantasy by Tyler Meese
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