How do I know which way is right? How do I know which path to take? Why don’t I want to continue down my current path? Why do I want to turn onto a different path?
When I told my husband I wanted to more seriously pursue writing, he asked me why. He asked why I want to make a living writing. He asked me why I don’t want to get my Bachelor’s in Information Technology and why I don’t want to try to become a CIO or some form of Manager of Information Technology. He reminded me that I once wanted to be a music producer and that I eventually realized that wouldn’t make me happy. He wasn’t being unsupportive, he just wanted to know my reasoning.
It must have seemed strange to him, my suddenly veering from a course I’ve been on for over 6 years. I certainly didn’t mind him questioning it because I myself have. It probably confused him that three months ago I was head first, charging toward a full blown career involving computers, and now I want to change course and be a full-time writer. For me – I feel like I’m getting back on course instead of changing course. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, I just never thought it possible.
Even though I would write on my blog every now and then I didn’t feel like I was actually interesting because I didn’t get much response from readers. I noticed that when I did my 30 day challenges I would get some response, but still not much. It wasn’t until about a month and a half ago when I decided, whether people read it or not, I’m going to try to write at least once a day that I saw a difference. I’m not writing for anyone else, I’m writing for me. My writing is not based on someone else’s prompts (or at least 98% of the past 1.5 months has not been). It’s me writing from what I see or experience and what inspires me.
I also decided instead of checking Facebook and Instagram I would read other bloggers posts. A whole new world opened up. I get captivated by the stories others are telling (even if they are just two paragraph stories about their day). I realized that if I want to be a writer, I need to interact with other writers. So I also started venturing out to comment on other posts. This interaction excites me! Not only did interacting with other bloggers cause the views on my page to go up, but it gives me satisfaction to know I’m boosting someone else’s stats. I’m sincerely excited to see another blogger being successful.
I’m getting close to finishing the first draft of my book. It’s taken me about 4.5 years, but I’m getting close. I think it’s taken me so long because I want this to be THE book. I wrote a couple books in highschool. Silly little things that aren’t very realistic (but I thought they were at the time. Also not in the sci-fi genre so they SHOULD have been realistic) and full of problems. Story line errors, Grammar errors, spelling errors (even though I thought I used spell check). I’d write them in an 8 session and never go back to edit them.
When the idea for my new book came to me, I knew this was the one. I could make this one great! I just wanted to take my time and not rush it. At first I refused to write unless I felt inspired. Now I do sometimes write when I’m not feeling inspired, just to write. I’ll be editing this book so I can fix problems after the draft is made. I only let my husband read it and then let my niece in on it too see if it would captivate her. But I’m still terrified that it’s not as good as I think it is. I know there are plot holes I need to plug and other things I need to define, but what if even after that the general public thinks it sucks?
Another reason it took me so long is that, not only do I work at least 40 hours a week, but I travel for work (which then causes more like 50-55 hour weeks). And on top of that, the last 1.5 years have been spent doing almost 20 hours a week of college courses. After you consider the 60+ hours I put mentally into other things, I’ve been so drained that I don’t feel I can give my book the attention it deserves. I’m not making excuses, just explaining facts.
Just talking about finishing my book gets me excited. I want to finish it and accomplish at least that. Thinking about how I used to write for 8 hours a day during the summer of my highschool years makes me long to write. It makes me want to say “Screw whatever I have to do at work today. I’m just going to slack off and write!” I won’t, of course, because I’m not lax enough to just do what I want to do. As I’ve probably mentioned in other posts, I feel like a robot some days – just doing what I’m programmed to do. Right now is a good example. I’m going to stop writing because I need to get ready for work. So although I really just want to sit and finish this (what I actually started during a break at work yesterday), I’m going to take a break so I can be on time… To my robot job.
Fast forward 16 hours – I’m laying in bed now trying to finish this because I really want to get it posted. I’m staying up even though I’ll probably be cranky tomorrow. However, writing is more important to me than being tired at work.
I check my stats throughout the day. It brings excitement to a dull work life. It brings a smile to my face when I’m just struggling to get through a day doing a job that I enjoy, but don’t have a passion for. My boss is always confused as to why I don’t want to work on things at home outside of work hours. He does this frequently because computers are what he has a passion for. I like computers, but I don’t have a passion for them. This is what I have a passion for.
How do I know writing is what I want to do? I know because it’s all I think about. When I’m driving, I’m taking in the scenes I’m passing. I’m looking intently at the skin complexion of my Verizon rep as she talks to me about data plans. I’m listening to the slight cracks in my coworker’s voice as he explains his issue. I’m looking at colors. I’m listening to subtle sounds.
I’m taking in the world around me. I’m taking it in and thinking about how I could push it back out. I’m thinking about how I would paint the picture of Susie’s subtle freckles that I never noticed before. I’m thinking about how I would express the beauty of a lone home and it’s elaborate garden set between two industrial buildings. I’m thinking about words that describe influx and vocal characteristics. I’m listening to the barely noticeable tick of our gas furnace preparing to kick in. I’m listening to the rhythmic drip, drip, drip of our imperfect faucet. I’m soaking in the excitement in my nephew’s eyes. I’m focusing on the giggling of the three girls talking in the next room over.
I get lost in my mind. I get lost in the thoughts of how I could turn all these things I’m hearing, seeing, and doing into art. I get lost imagining what my world would look like on the black and white of book pages. I think about it almost more than I think about anything else. It hurts when I have to put it on the back burner.
So there it is. The right path is the path that makes me feel most alive. The right path is the path that brings me excitement. The right path is the path that pushes me to experience my world with fresh eyes. The right path is the path that brings me peace. The right path is the path that brings me purpose. The right path is the path chosen by me and not by someone else. The right path is the path that leads to home. The right path is the path that leads to my heart.