While I work on my Official Dr. Fantastique’s Review of Worldcon/Chicon 7, I thought I’d post something more personal in the meantime.
Worldcon was amazing. For me, it was like glimpsing heaven, brushing it with my hand, and then being sent back into purgatory (that sounds really melodramatic now that I’ve written in down). It was inspiring and motivating and depressing all at once. It made me believe in myself while simultaneously making me believe that I am the ant unworthy to crawl on Neil Gaiman’s shoe. It made me love everything I’ve ever written and then it made me hate everything I’ve ever written.
Along with all this emotion came a series of realizations, or epiphanies, if you will. Some of these were more spectacular than others, and included items like:
- I want to be a professional writer (by that I mean, someone who makes a living writing) more than I’ve wanted anything ever.
- If I work hard enough, someday I could be published alongside folks who are nominated for Hugo awards (I can’t even contemplate being nominated myself, that’s dangerous and ultimately out of my control), and make a living doing what I love.
- I need to work harder and make more temporary sacrifices if I really want to make writing into a career. I have to become temporarily kind of selfish, because there just aren’t enough hours in the day for me to do a full-time job, take classes, and write if I’m spending all my time fulfilling other peoples’ expectations of me.
So I’m going to be making some changes around here. Some items are tangible. Others are more nebulous. For instance:
- Write more, facebook less. Maybe facebook not at all, it really is a time-suck, and it’s not helping my career one iota. Facebook has become the way I entertain myself at my day job, but writing (or at least reading) needs to take its place.
- Drop out of any groups that aren’t helping me meet my goal. As one of my Barfleet friends put it, “Sarah’s a member of every group ever.” Well, yes. And as a result, I half-ass my responsibilities to these groups and to myself. So it’s time to ask myself which groups are really benefiting me and which are just taking up more of my so-precious time. I hate dropping out of anything or losing touch with any friends, so this is going to be hard.
- Sacrifice social time for writing time. Again, this is going to be hard. I’m one of those people who is terrified of her best friends replacing her so I must go to every social event ever. I’m just going to have to get over that. Scheduled writing time will be scheduled writing time no matter how tempting the social event. I can’t cut out social events altogether without becoming miserably depressed (which is the worst possible thing for my writing) but I can reduce them enough that I feel I’m getting more done. And I’ll have to count on my friends to know that I still love them and not to forget me.
Here’s my shiny new schedule for the next year:
Fall 2012: Revamp website. Send invites for Anthology #1. Finish Confessions of a Sidekick (novella).
Winter 2013: Edit and finalize Anthology #1. Write story for Empires of Steam and Rust.
Spring 2013: Celebrate the release of Anthology #1. Send invitations/notifications about Anthology #2. Start writing Tarabonti and Co. (tentative title, novella).
Summer 2013: Conduct Indie Go Go campaign for Anthology #2.
Fall 2013: Finalize Anthology #2, celebrate release, send rewards for Indie Go Go campaign. Finish Tarabonti and Co.
Of course in between these projects there will also be short stories and hopefully a comic book and science only knows what else. Hopefully.
Here’s what I need from you, dear reader: Your continued support. Your understanding when I say “I can’t come to your party, I have scheduled Writing Time.” I promise I will make it up to you by including you in my Hugo acceptance speech. I’m just kidding about that part. But seriously, I will appreciate it…and you’ll get me back once I’m a successful freelancer. Right? Right.
I support this. Let me know how I can help.
Thanks David, you’re awesome 🙂
You are a talented writer, Sarah, and I’m glad to see your “newfound” dedication to your craft! Can I suggest a book I’ve just found? BOOKLIFE, by Jeff VanderMeer, talks about goals, plans and writer’s survival in this century. He also talks about what he gave up, back when, and how he fit writing time in, etc. Congrats on your epiphanies!
Thanks Mary! I’m reading Orson Scott Card’s writing book right now, I’ll have to read VanderMeer’s next.