I’m the kind of person who always likes to have a plan—and not some daily to do list but an in-depth itinerary of the next five years of my life kind of plan. I’ll admit, I’m obsessive, but most driven people are. But it’s one of the reasons I’ve been able to up my daily word count and crank out so many first drafts in the last six months and potentially publish 3 books by the end of the year. All the planning, sure it’s a little crazy, but that’s what works for me.
So you can imagine how much it throws off my whole equilibrium when those plans are forced to change. I mentioned on Monday my latest plan to spend the next three months just writing. I’d already created an incredibly strenuous writing schedule and set my deadlines in stone. Since I won’t be working during that time, obviously I want to make the most of it. But then this weekend, in the middle of finishing the formatting for Orphans of Paradise (Yes, during absolutely the worst time this could have happened), my laptop died.
It just died. Right there. When I was adding the last hyperlink!!! It was awful and traumatic and frustrating and I almost couldn’t go on. But I had to, I’d made a commitment to myself to have the book up last weekend and that’s exactly what I was going to do. And luckily we had another laptop but, unfortunately, during the next couple of weeks when I’ll need it most, my boyfriend also needs it for school. Yeah, definitely put a damper on all of the plans I’d made.
So now if I want to spend the next three months writing, not only will I be out of work for that amount of time, but I’ll also be forced to spend a boat load of money on a new computer. And as soon as I was faced with that revelation, the most horrible question started nagging at me—am I worth it?
It probably sounds ridiculous, it feels ridiculous writing it. But I think it’s a questions a lot of us creatives struggle with. Because doing creative work is more often a labor of love and it usually takes a long time before we start making any kind of money. So for a long time we’re forced to make sacrifices with no immediate financial reward and based solely on the hope that someday it will all add up to something.
And yet, not everyone shares in this hope. Sometimes convincing the people around you that what you do has value is difficult. Sometimes that attitude starts to seep into your own thoughts.
But if I’m going to make this work, I can’t be afraid. And I can’t keep making excuses. My commitment to myself and to this dream has to be completely unconditional. Because if I’m not convinced of my potential and if I’m not dead set on a future as a professional author, then the universe won’t be either. Because sometimes the only way to make things happen is to make things happen. And I’m making this happen.