Over the weekend, the government of the United States avoided a potential shutdown. I don’t want to get into the politics of it here on the blog, other than to say I would have been affected. My position would have been furloughed if the government had shut down. This brought some clarity to my thinking in a couple of ways.
Despite having anticipated it, and prepared for it, I still wasn’t ready. When I was actually told, in writing, that my position was classified as nonessential, it still hurt my ego. I’ve always told myself that the rejection letters will come and I will prepared for them, and that will take away some of their sting. What I learned from this weekend was that I was lying to myself. The rejection letters are still going to hurt.
That’s not all I’ve learned. When facing the prospect that my ‘day job’ would no longer be there, I realized how that I would like to further on my journey towards becoming an author than I am. Commenter Laurie Tom from my “Write or Socialize” blog post made me realize that I haven’t been taking my pursuit of a writing career as seriously as I should. I never explicitly stated it, but you can tell, just from the way I was asking the question, that I wasn’t taking writing as seriously as I should if I want to accomplish my goal.
I have a goal, to become a professional writer. I have to evaluate every choice I make in light of that goal. Will doing X bring me closer to my goal? That’s how I have to think, and still have some semblance of balance my life. I mean, if I get there, but I’m divorced and my kids won’t talk to me, I really won’t have accomplished anything.
But if learned anything about myself during NaNo, it’s that I’m better talking about what I need to do than actually doing it. If I was at work, and I wanted to complete a project, I would have an action plan with action steps. I’m going to apply that here.
Action Plan Item #1: Write Every Day
I will add something to my WIP every day, and keep a word count to track my progress.
Action Plan Item #2: Accountability
Every Sunday, I will report on this blog on my progress from the previous week by way of word count. By making myself accountable, it will give me added motivation when my will is weak.
Action Plan #3: Education / Skin in the game
I’m going to sign up for an online writing course that was suggested to me by Tami Moore. This is going to cost me real money, but I feel like it will be money well spent. Dave Ramsey says ‘you will be same person in five years you are today, except for the books you read, and the people you meet.’ I will consider this writing course like a book I would read to change who I will be in five years.