Yesterday someone said to me that perhaps it was time I got a "real job" or at least made this whole writing thing work better for me. While the comments left me, at first, fuming like the back draft of a fire ready to explode, after a bit I actually began to see that perhaps there was some wisdom in these comments-albeit not quite how the speaker intended them.
It's true, my books are not selling like hotcakes. There are not publishers banging impatiently and incessantly at my door, waving multi-million dollar contracts and begging for me to choose them. That is most definitely not happening. The income I make from them cannot support me and my children by any stretch of the imagination, however, as I was once told, a person who gets into writing solely to make money is going to be sorely disappointed. I write not just for a source of income. While that was certainly a motivating factor as I was eager to find a career I was passionate about and could do amid the daily chaos of raising my children, it was not the only reason I embarked on this as a career choice. I truly love it and it fulfills my soul, enabling me to be a better mother, a better person, a better me.
That being said, it doesn't pay the bills, at least not yet. So, while my books do sell moderately, I can certainly see the point the speaker of those words was trying to make. If I am going to make this "writing thing" as it was called, work, then I have to make it work. That means reorganizing my life so that I have more time to write, trying new things such as writers circles and approaching book stores in person, tapping into the local artists community, and employing new techniques such as my own website (which will hopefully be up and running soon). It has also encouraged me to branch out, reaching out to people I would not otherwise have reached out to, employing a little self-promotion(a huge challenge for me as I have never been one to toot my own horn), and even taking paid writing jobs, such as writing articles, to at least get my name out there more, and some money coming in.
So, as it is with most challenging moments in life, these comments that were said with malicious intent(indeed to force the cessation of my writing), instead offered an opportunity to take a look at my work and my strategy in a different light. It proved to be a chance to take some negative and pull from it something positive, serving to light a fire underneath me to step out of my comfort zone and try some new things, to reignite the fire in my soul.