Sometimes in life everything goes your way.
And sometimes in life, you need to blow stuff up.
I’m speaking metaphorically, of course. (Ignore the boxes of fireworks stockpiled in the corner for the Fourth of July.) Please don’t go buy explosives. Instead, think about what dramatic change in your writing life — in your writing relationships — would look like. And keep in mind that even metaphorical explosions can change your course.
As a writer, I’m always looking for ways to be better. Better at my craft, better at promoting myself, better at finding just the right niche for my manuscript. But sometimes no matter how hard I work — no matter how many writing workshops I attend, how many books on writing I read, how many readers I connect with — I don’t get the results I want.
In addition, my desire as a writer to improve often comes in conflict with my desire as a person not to rock the boat. To be quiet, to be grateful, to be happy with whatever fate hands me. To remember how lucky I am to be a writer at all, even if it isn’t always on my terms.
When faced with a situation like above, where something — your manuscript, your effort, your professional relationship — isn’t working, I’ve come to believe there are two choices.
We can keep trying. Sometimes that is the right option.
We can recognize that the desire to be comfortable, to avoid change, to keep the status quo, is holding us back. Like the quote says:
“The definition of insanity is doing the same exact thing and expecting different results.”
For example, have you ever found yourself
- sticking to a writing routine that doesn’t give you the word count you need?
- writing the same type of story (or maybe even the same story) over and over, without moving to the next step of submitting it for publication?
- attending critique sessions where nothing ever gets critiqued?
- promoting yourself through traditional methods without seeing any increase in sales?
If you aren’t getting the results you want, maybe it’s time for a change. Time to make it impossible for yourself to keep on the same path, to keep being comfortable. Because being comfortable? It’s nice, but it doesn’t always get you the results you want. Sometimes you need to blow it up. [Read more…]