I won’t make any money doing it. I should be doing something with my time that brings in money.
For the longest time I thought writing the way I wanted to write, was foolish. It felt foolish to use my own voice to say something that might not be founded, and to say it even if I had no audience. It also felt foolish because I was making some pretty decent money doing something else. I held in my hands a job that felt as if the sky was the limit on how much money I could make. If I just kept cranking out work, I could be assured my paycheck would continue to rise. It felt foolish to not just continue cranking out work.
But you know where I am headed with this. You know because you have felt it yourself at one time or another. You have felt that you had something inside you that was unique and you have felt a longing to express that uniqueness. And so you have felt unsettled, despite everyone around you telling you how successful you are and how stupid you would be to throw it all away. The dream always feels far more foolish than the alternative.
There came a time for me where it was more painful to stay where I was than it was to step out on my dream and dare to become something new. I made the decision that I would write, and that if I was to bring in any money at all, it would have to happen through writing. And not just any sort of writing, but the writing that I wanted to do. Not the writing dictated to me by freelance projects or publishing house’s best practice suggestions.
I can hear my husband’s voice in the back of my head right now saying, “That’s fine, but not everyone has the luxury to just quit their job.”
It is true. In fact, when my Thrashing About With God book deal didn't do as well as I'd planned, I did have to start working outside the home. This transition was painfully difficult for me, but I also kept writing on my own terms in my own time and created this eBook called Self-Ish, which was all about taking care of myself and creating art out of a less than ideal situation.
What I do believe is that we are far less boxed in then we believe we are. I do believe creativity and radical desire are fantastic tools to pave ways in heavily wooded areas where no trail has gone before. I do believe in starting to ask the questions of “how?” and “what if?” and “perhaps?” I do believe in getting out from under that dreaded blanket of foolishness. Call a dream what you will, I will not stand here and let you call it foolish. That I will not allow. And I’m going to do my best to make something of it.
Things to Consider:
- Ask yourself, “What am I going to be about?” Consider that question for yourself, free from other’s opinions, financial needs, and all the other “shoulds” pecking away at your life.
- Is your spouse/partner in on your dreams? Supportive? Sacrificial? Does he/she have their own dreams as well? Can you partner to make it all possible? Are you pulling for each other?
- If you are single, do you have someone that believes in your dreams and doesn’t find them foolish?
- Can you limit or completely cut yourself off from the voices of those who tell you your dreams are foolish?
- If those voices are in your own head, can you do what Julia Cameron suggests and give that inner-critic a name. Personify it so you can say something like, “Hey Hugo, would you knock it off already?” or so you can identify, “Oh, that’s just Hugo talking. I try to take him with a grain of salt.”
- Are you committed to this dream? If so, take yourself seriously and call yourself an artist, or writer, or speaker, or teacher, or musician, or explorer or whatever the name is that you want to step into. Stop hearing that as a foolish title for yourself and get comfortable with it. Throw the title around lavishly. Let others hear it and start to identify you with it.