How can I read and write for a living? I ask myself that fairly regularly, and the answer is pretty simple. Read constantly, and write 6-8 hours a day…right? I wish it were that easy. Unless you are a savant, it is a profession which requires a high level of creativity and technical proficiency gained through years of practice. I am realizing that I need to read more books about the creative process, writing techniques, and step-by-step guides to writing publishable works.
Despite my egotistical belief that I can sit down and pump out works worthy of widespread publication, that’s just not the case. I have a long way to go in many facets concerning my writing abilities which are still in their infancy. Indecisiveness stemming from a knowledge of my shortcomings seems to be a key factor concerning my lack of tangible progress. Although I do enjoy posting my thoughts, writing poems, and reading for fun, I feel like I am ready to make the leap into taking it a little more seriously.
Not only finding the necessary tools but applying the knowledge will be critical. My father recently handed me a book to get me started, and I have a few more books in mind that should give me a proper introduction. Taking it one step at a time seems to be key, and I need to constantly remind myself to be patient. Becoming an excellent writer is just like any other endeavor or pursuit; sweat, blood, and tears must be expelled in order to make legitimate progress. It is certainly the path less traveled, but I really do feel as if I can find my way.
The flipside of this pursuit is the necessity of funding my campaign and supporting my family. Many critics and authors agree that a job that pays the bills is not only a necessity but indeed fuels the creative writing process. I would love to teach during the day and spend my evenings with my nose buried in books, and my fingers pounding on keys. The longer I sit here and type out this blog post, the more I realize that I am still procrastinating on writing something worthwhile. What’s the next step? What can I do today that will allow me to advance a career in literature?
I think I will begin with the book my dad gave me this evening, which I believe will turn into a cresting wave that will wash me onto a shoreline covered with the tools that I will need. Much of life is that way. Once you commit, the first step tends to lead to all of the others steps that must be completed. Each action leads to another tool or resource that will allow you to make progress to your end goal. Seek and ye shall find. Ask and you shall receive. Leap and the ledge will appear. People throughout history have known this to be true. Nothing new. I’m going to take the first step this evening and see where it takes me.