It is still February, and I still hate the month of February. I wish it would just fall off the calender one year so that I didn't have to live through it. Or even better that a little button would be installed on the side of my watch that I could hit every time I wanted to warp through something that was dragging on and on. If I had that I would warp to April. Yes. I have a lot of time off in April and it is so close to the summer I can smell the freshly cut grass already.
Since I can't get out of the winter months I have plenty of time to think about things. Like why I am a writer... It seems to me so obvious, I wonder why it took so many people, (including myself) to figure it out. I'm really not an extremely social person. I like people, I have friends, and I enjoy their company. But I don't want to be around them constantly. I enjoy being alone so much more. I love walking through the house when no one is around. I love the silence. There is something freeing in that silence.
When I am writing sometimes the slightest noise can become a distraction. That or an excuse to do something else. And then there are family members who just don't understand anything about writing. Like how long it takes to write a novel. To them, if I say I am writing or that I am critiquing someone else's piece, they see it as oh, she doesn't have any plans. She is free to do whatever she wants. I have to fight with them all the time to make them see it as work, the same kind of work that they do every day. I don't understand why they can't see it that way. It is something I want to make a living at. I want to get paid for it. So shouldn't it be a job? Shouldn't I be required to put some of my own time into it. If I don't get the work done, the finished project, I don't get a check. How hard is that to understand.
Here's they way that I rationalize it in my mind. I want to be a writer. I want that to be my career. Yet I wanted to be a lawyer for a really long time. At graduation I was forced to make a decision. And the deciding factor for me was that I feared making a decision that would require that much commitment, time, and money, for something I wasn't sure I would enjoy doing. But I learned about the legal profession, and law school. If I had went I would have spent anywhere from $40,000-$100,000 dollars on that education. I would have worked 60+ hours a week for three years. And this risk is allowed in our society because we assume that everyone who goes to law school will get a fancy job paying $100,000+ a year.
But that is not true. A lot of lawyers make much less than you would expect. And if the job market is bad, finding a job as a lawyer is just as competitive as any other field. What is worse is that after all that there are so many who do not like what they do. Who do it because it was expected or because it was safe and secure. But these are the same people who will wake up in thirty years and ask what the hell did I do with my life. These are the people on medications, with alcohol problems, and rocky marriages. These are the people that are just not happy.
Now flip the tables for a moment. Say you devoted that same amount of time and effort and money into something that you really loved. Something that really made you happy. Me for instance, I want to write. And I believe that if I had that much time and money devoted to my career I would be more than successful. Sure there is some element of talent that needs to be discussed. And I am not saying that I am the greatest writer in the world. I am far from it. But I am not afraid to learn. I am always looking for weaknesses in my writing and putting in effort to become better. It might be mind numbing for some but it is what I love and when you are doing something you love...you never even notice the crappy stuff.
So I guess I have given myself three years to find my way. To decide if this was meant for me. Funny how after about my first meeting with an editor at TOR Books I knew I made the write decision. Even now, I think, writing might not be all I do. I think of starting a magazine one day, or owning a bookstore. I do editing at work and think maybe I should be in the publishing industry. I know that I am on the right track. Headed in the right direction. I hope that others can be as lucky as I am.
Oh and if you aren't sure what makes you happy...check out a book called. Finding your own north star It changed my life.