Success or failure: What do I choose?

I’ll never make it as a writer…

Quill and Ink

Quill and Ink (Photo credit: cgsheldon)

I can hear the voices clearly sometimes. You’re not good enough. No one will ever want to read your stuff. Why do you even try? The voices are jerks. I hate the voices in my head.

The voices are my own insecurities and doubts. Fear keeps me from doing what I should be doing to get ahead. The thought of another JOB makes me want to curl up into a fetal position and cry. I don’t want to work for the man. I don’t want to waste my life making another rich while I wear myself out. I don’t want that.

And neither does anyone else.

I see the dead look in people’s eyes as they trudge through the muck that is their everyday existence, and I can see the my own blank stare reflected back to me. Clock in, work, clock out, and then try to salvage at least a little bit of our day for ourselves, and our family and friends. We slave to break even, if we’re lucky. We toil just to put a roof over our heads and food to eat. We break our bodies only to fall further behind in life.

It’s happening. Look at the news. Look at the discontent among the laborers. Wages are stagnant, there is no real job growth, and hours are getting cut. The economy isn’t growing because the wealthy have stolen this country’s wealth and are hoarding it for themselves all the while wondering why they aren’t making anymore money.

I finally got a job and I’m off this week. I don’t go back until next week and only for 14 hours. The following week is about the same, but they scheduled me for a day I’m in class. Sorry, but I’m not jeopardizing my education for a go-nowhere-job where they don’t even care enough to get my schedule right. I did that once and I spent over a decade being miserable.

I’m not saying this to trash the labor force. I’m saying this to trash the employers, which is dangerous for me as I’m in the market to find a real full-time position somewhere. I am beginning the transition from student to employee all over again, and yes it scares the hell out of me.

What can I do?

Keyboard

Keyboard (Photo credit: Quinn deEskimo)

My only recourse is to use the only talent available to me and try to write for a living. Right out of the proverbial gate I’m met with the reality that most writers don’t make a living as writers. I wonder; how many aspiring writers are out there right now, toiling away on their computers, typewriters, and even notepads and pens, trying to write the next big thing? I know I am. I’m one of the invisible group, hoping to be taking out of obscurity and made famous for doing what I love.

Hell, here I am writing for free for myself, just to have an outlet to express my thoughts. I have a very limited readership, and I’m okay with that. Although I do want to grow my audience, my main objective is to write for writing’s sake. I write in order to discover what I believe, to put it into words, in a logical manner, that I can defend if I have to. I write in order to practice putting my thoughts down onto paper, or in this case onto the web. I write in order to learn.

You are my teachers and my evaluators. You who have taken the time to read my thoughts have become my greatest assets. I take my blog stats very seriously, and I take my Likes as a positive sign that I did a decent job. When no one reads my post, I feel that I did a poor job and that I need to do better.

My main problem is that I haven’t been as diligent as I should. I haven’t committed myself to write everyday like a writer ought to write. Be it trash or a masterpiece, without taking the time to sit down and actively engage in this craft, I will end up as a dreamer who wants the stars but remains content to watch them from afar.

But I’m not content. I’m tired of laying on the meadows at night, looking up without trying to reach out for those distant points of light. I’m tired of dreaming the dream that I yearn for, but refuse to pursue. I’m tired of hearing that I can do it, that I have the talent, “if only you’d go for it.” I will go for it. You’ll see.

In the meantime I will trudge along on this merry road, working for the marketplace, selling myself for a meager wage. It’s a sacrifice I have to pay, that I’m willing to pay, but this time I do so with my eyes open, with a plan for the future and a hope that I can escape.

We all have our dreams, and mine is to be financially independent, as much as is possible. If I have to work to enrich some man’s coffers, why shouldn’t that man be me? If I have to wear myself out, shouldn’t it be for my own benefit? In the process, if I am successful, I will end up helping others make money.

I just have to remember this: I need to sit down and write. Success or failure rests solely on my ability to set aside some time to write. Unless I sit down and get serious, I’ve already failed. I don’t want to fail, not this time and not with this. Failure is always an option, but success only becomes a possibility if I not only try but I do.

6 thoughts on “Success or failure: What do I choose?

  1. Discontentment is inextricably linked to progress and success, I find. The thing we as success-oriented people can’t do is let that discontentment discourage us to the point of not trying anymore. Keep at it! You have good style!

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  2. In just a very short time, your writing has improved tremendously. Compare this post with a post from a year ago. You write beautifully, Joe, and you can only get better. Yes, writing time is often slower than realtime, but it’s still a good time. Better than most realtime days.

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  3. Hey man, you’re quite talented. I know it’s tough, but block out the negative noise.

    You sound exactly the way I did. But I forced myself to keep writing. Even though I had no idea if I was talented enough to “make it”. Because how are we to know?

    Because of the crazy butterfly effect, The Miami Herald called me out of the blue one day and I ended up writing for them for eight years. I then self published a book which was picked up by a publisher (which was then endorsed by Deepak Chopra).

    Imagine if I quit because of the negative voices?

    Knowing what I now know of the biz, I just released a new book to guide people like us: http://amzn.to/11Gl3sF The Complete Bullshit-Free and Totally Tested Writing Guide: How To Make Publishers, Agents, Editors & Readers Fall In Love With Your Work [Kindle Edition]

    Don’t quit. Keep in touch. Peace…

    Like

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