Taking Stock of A Writing Career
|WINTER! (Lone Elk County Park, MO)*|
We changed the format and sat around in a circle, discussing our careers, our current projects, our brand, our agents--wait, wait, no agent for me, no current book under contract--I don't have a brand either. And as I sat there listening and discussing, a question kept plaguing me: Margo, what are you doing? What are you doing? WHAT ARE YOU DOING????
I took stock of how I spend the very limited time that I have to work each day (since I must also sleep and raise my family), and I soon realized (before I even got my mittens on and my scarf around my neck that night) that I needed to reassess my goals, how I spend my work time, and what I wanted from my career. On the drive home from the library, I did just that. It turns out that when writers who live in your same city and are at events with you,fulfilling their career goals, and you are not--it's very motivating. (Okay, a little depressing at first, but soon enough, motivation kicks in.)
So, now I have to make some changes. I have to write some difficult e-mails to quit some jobs and turn down some opportunities that just don't fit with what I want--which is to be a full-time children's author, writing instructor, and editor--with an emphasis on the author part. I want an agent. I want books under contract. I want readers to impatiently wait for another one of my books to come out.
I have to re-do my blog and website. I have to find new ways to engage readers and promote myself while also sharing the wonderful work of fellow authors that I love.
It's a few weeks after that career-changing night, and I still have that passion to get my career going stirring in my belly. I have typed up my goals, shared them with my writing group, and posted them on the refrigerator. I have made notes in my calendar about when each one has to be finished.
I'm excited about what's ahead, and I know with a refocus and new purpose, my career is going to go places. But it's still hard to look back and miss some of those activities/jobs that no longer fit with what I want out of my writing career.
How about you? Have you ever had to make decisions like these? Share with us!
*Photo above by Joe Kopp; find out more at Joe Kopp Art: http://www.joekoppart.com