Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Business of Writing - A Sign from God

Now that the Super Bowl is over, it's time to get back to the business of writing.

And that really is what writing has become to me now.  My business.  I am the Owner, President, CEO, Project Manager, Accountant, and my own personal assistant.  Oh, and don't forget the janitor.  I'm that, too.  Because as a writer, I pretty much have to do it all.

But you know what?  I LOVE IT!  There is no other job I would like to have than this one.  And here's the story about how I made the decision to take the risk of being a full-time writer:

About three weeks ago, I was close to reaching a major low.  I had been unemployed since July 2010, and had suffered through awful temp assignments, useless job searches, and even spent 4 1/2 months of 2011 taking classes to make myself more marketable to employers.  But without any experience in the field I was trying to enter, no one would look at me.  And I no longer wanted to work as an administrative assistant because the job simply wasn't challenging enough for me.  I was professionally lost, and the truth is, my heart was 100% pulling me toward writing.

So, three weeks ago, at my lowest of lows, I got a phone call from a company that wanted to slot me for a 15-minute screening interview.  I actually cried.  I didn't want that job.  The thought of enduring another interview that would likely end up with another reject letter to damage my already-fragile ego for a position I didn't even want depressed me beyond words.  On top of that, I was terrified I would fail as a full-time author.  So, I was at that proverbial crossroads:  do I take the interview or do I take the risk that my writing can support me?

That was on a Friday evening.  Monday, I went to Whole Foods at 8:00.  I only needed a few things and when I left, it was around 8:15.  I had obsessed over the decision of interview or writing all weekend and was crying.  Yes, you read right.  Crying.  I actually walked out of Whole Foods with tears in my eyes, and guess what I did?  I prayed.  Right there on the sidewalk and as I crossed into the parking lot.  Now, I'm not a religious person by any stretch of the word.  I'm spiritual and talk to God all the time, but very rarely do I pray.  Well, that Monday morning I did.  I said something to the effect of: "I need a sign, God.  And I need a big one.  A sign that will smack me so hard between the eyes that I can't miss that it was a sign.  A sign that will tell me what I'm supposed to do, because, God, I don't know what that is.  Am I supposed to take that interview, or am I supposed to write?  Give me a sign God, and I mean a huge sign. One that if I miss it, I'm blind.  I give this to you, God.  Please show me the way."

About two hours later, I opened my email.  Back in November, I had submitted a story to THE publisher all epub authors want to work with, Silver Publishing.  For weeks, I had waited for a reply to see if they had accepted my story.  I had begun to lose hope because so long had passed.  That morning, of all mornings, I got a reply.  They had accepted my story and wanted to publish it.  I got my contract soon thereafter.  Later, I just happened to check the reviews for an anthology one of my short stories had been published in late last summer.  I don't even know what made me check, being that I hadn't checked the reviews more than a couple of times in all the months since the anthology was released.  Guess what?  There was a new review.  Double guess what?  The reviewer absolutely loved my story, saying he/she couldn't wait to see more from me.  Later, on my Facebook author profile, I received an inbox from a large group who wanted to feature me as their author of the month in the next few months (I may be slotted for March or April, after my first self-published book gets released).  I had 3 more major signs that Monday, for a total of 6, along with a ton of smaller signs.  I don't think God could have answered my prayer any more loudly than that.

That Monday, I made the decision.  I was going to take the risk and make writing my full-time job.  Technically, I'm still unemployed because I'm not making an income, yet, but unofficially, I am just building my earning potential by treating my writing as I would any other job.  I get up by 6:00 most mornings (although I was up at 4:30 today), and I put in at least 8 hours a day (usually 12-14) in some publishing capacity, whether I'm writing, researching, marketing, networking, or investigating the world of self-publishing.

I have created a business plan, tools to track my progress, a schedule to keep me on track, and I minimize distractions by limiting how much time I am on Facebook or other Internet sites to less than two hours a day.  I figure if I was working in an office, I wouldn't be allowed to be on Facebook or playing games, why should I do that stuff just because I'm my own boss?

They say if you want to make it as a writer, you have to have a solid work ethic and treat it like a business - like it's your job.  Well, I'm doing that.  That decision three weeks ago changed me.  I have purpose now.  I have goals.  I have a freaking business plan!  LOL.  I can't remember the last time I was this happy with my job.  Well, I did have one job that I did thoroughly enjoy.  I'd work for that boss again any day, even if I am writing.  (Thanks JR).  But besides that job, this one is the best I've ever had.

Thank you, God.


No comments:

Post a Comment