In school, I always wanted to do well in math, but for some reason, it never took hold in my head. Throughout high school and college, my English grades were always better than my math grades. The thing is I didn’t care about my English grades.
Through the years, people said I told good stories and that I should publish them. There were more than a few times people suggested I write a book about my experiences. The editor of a regional newspaper, who was once my instructor in college, told me that I should consider taking up writing as a profession.
The senior editor of a regional newspaper, was once my expository writing instructor in college, told me I should consider taking up writing as a profession.
A business writing coach taught a six-week course at work. He told me I had a talent for writing. I couldn’t see it as I stood there holding a paper crazed with red-penciled editor’s marks.
When the course completed, the writing coach told my senior manager – that of the 34 participants in the class – I was the best writer of the group. This included several departmental managers. I was shocked, but then felt a sense of pride by this announcement.
There have been many indicators in my life telling me I should become a writer or get into the publishing business. Why am I fighting it? Making a living as a writer or publisher is time intensive, tedious and hard. My qualitative side doesn’t see the sense in putting in so many hours and effort into a project that may or may not pay. If it does pay, often it comes out to less than minimum wage. However, my creative side yearns to reveal itself.
[That has all changed since 2010. Making a living as a writer now is more of a possibility than it ever was back when I wrote this. I also no longer have that qualitative feeling about the time-cost benefit. I now write because I enjoy it and it’s something I want to do.]
So why do I want to get into the writing and publishing business?
Because I have to.
The way I see it I don’t have a choice. No matter what direction I take in search of my ‘niche’, my profession, my passion – I somehow always come back to writing.
I’ve looked into doing many different things, but no matter how solid the opportunity I never made a go of it – simply because it’s not what I’m supposed to do. I’ve spent a good part of my life pursuing all sorts of interests while doing a job that is not in alignment with who I really am. It comes down to a lack of motivation. I don’t see that what I do makes a difference. It’s not meaningful, or lasting. There’s no legacy – which is important to me.
I’ve wasted a lot of years not getting very far in my current career and the outlook for the future isn’t rosy either. Unless I decide to change things.
I can waste a lot of time on the woulda, coulda, shoulda’s of life, but there’s no use bitching about it. The past is gone, and the future has yet to be written (pun intended). I still have a job bringing in a decent salary, and I am definitely better read than I was twenty years ago. Therefore, the decision to pursue “the writing life” is on.
I have a pretty good idea of the direction I’m going to follow. I’m going to feed my passion for writing and focus as much attention as I can on the craft and industry. This will help get my name out there, make associations, and build relationships with other writers.