Tuesday, June 7, 2011

#trust30 - Day 7

Only a day behind now. Here's yesterday's prompt:

Dare to be bold by Matt Cheuvront

Our arts, our occupations, our marriages, our religion, we have not chosen, but society has chosen for us. We are parlour soldiers. We shun the rugged battle of fate, where strength is born. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Next to Resistance, rational thought is the artist or entrepreneurs worst enemy. Bad things happen when we employ rational thought, because rational thought comes from the ego. Instead, we want to work from the Self, that is, from instinct and intuition, from the unconscious.

A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. Its only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate.” - Steven Pressfield, Do the Work

The idea of “being realistic” holds all of us back. From starting a business or quitting a job to dating someone who may not be our type or moving to a new place – getting “real” often means putting your dreams on hold.

Today, let’s take a step away from rational thought and dare to be bold. What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to accomplish but have been afraid to pursue? Write it down. Also write down the obstacles in your way of reaching your goal. Finally, write down a tangible plan to overcome each obstacle.

The only thing left is to, you know, actually go make it happen. What are you waiting for?

(Author: Matt Cheuvront)

This is a question I think about every day.

See, writing isn't a realistic career. J.K. Rowling and Stephen King and John Grisham are the exceptions--most writers don't make enough to write full time. Even many of the published ones need day jobs to support their writing habits. But that doesn't stop people from wanting to be writers (it certainly hasn't stopped me).

And that, of course, is my goal. I don't want just to be published. I want to be read--read by enough people that my family doesn't have to worry about how to pay back student loans or whether we can afford cable TV or high-speed internet or have a reliable car. Read by enough people that I occasionally hear, "Oh, you're that Scott Dalton?" Read by enough people that I can surprise a kid reading on a plane by signing his book.

Ambitious? You bet. Arrogant? Maybe a little.

But that's where realism gets in the way. If you've been reading this blog long, you know I have a good day job. It keeps my family comfortable, and my prospects for the future are good. The realistic thing to do is to stick with it, to climb the corporate ladder and retire in twenty or thirty years with money in the bank.

My dream doesn't care what's realistic, but my bills do. My family does. So I have to find a way to make the dream the realistic thing to do. It has to make money before I can make the leap.

That means I have to build a writing career just like I would build a business. It starts with getting my name out there even before my book (the first of many) is finished. This blog is part of that. Facebook and Twitter play their part as well. I plan to have a podcast starting in the fall (watch for it!), and I have a presentation I'd like to give to school kids starting in the next school year.

Then comes the book. I'll have my first draft finished by the end of August, and the book will be with an agent or published on Kindle and/or iPad by the end of the year.

Then it's lather, rinse, repeat. Next year I write the next book. While I'm doing that, I'm coming up with new ideas, figuring out what's working and what's not, and learning how to do it better.

Sooner or later, the realistic thing to do will be to leave the day job and write full time.

I'm gonna love the look on that kid's face when I make his day.


No comments:

Post a Comment