Physically I’m still in Michigan, which is a good place if you love the eternal winter of Narnia (the rest of us celebrate the small things, like waking up to above-freezing temperatures). I’m not talking about my location, though.
Writing and editing have been a struggle. It’s not the work that’s difficult – it’s actually quite easy and enjoyable – it’s getting the work. I’ve been at this for six years now, and I have very few clients and make very little money. I have, however, given guidance, suggestions, and recommendations to friends and colleagues who are now busy book editors and freelance writers. They’ve been able to take my advice and turn it into paying careers, yet I haven’t been able to do that for myself.
Then there’s the novel…s. Pitching one, editing the other. It never ends. Waiting weeks at a time to hear from agents before you can move on to the next. Reading Chapter 26 for the third time and still struggling to figure out what it’s missing. All the while there’s a new character in the back of your mind who wants to come out, but you don’t want to split what little novel-writing time you have between three stories when the two still need your TLC.
It’s hard work. It’s often unnoticed, painful, and frustrating. Worst of all – it doesn’t pay the bills! We’re scrimping and saving and rarely eating out so I can follow my dream and make this my career.
It doesn’t seem to be working, but that’s okay.
I’m in a good place. I’ve been learning for the past six years (I only spent four years in college). I’ve been practicing. I’ve been meeting people, getting involved, trying new things, strengthening my character, practicing patients, and mastering Candy Crush Saga. I’m not where I want to be, but I’m in a good place. I’m going to keep working until I’m in a great place. Then, I’m going to work some more.
I love what I do. I wish I had more opportunities to do it, but I’m thankful for what I have and looking forward to where I’m going. This is a good place, but I’m ready to move.
“Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer.” Ray Bradbury