This past week marked the one year anniversary of my leaving my day job and I am now taking stock of what I have accomplished with my writing. On the surface some might judge, not much, but the truth is I have leaved more in this past twelve months than in the previous decade of studying my craft. Although courses and workshops are valuable there is no substitute for butt-in-the-chair and trial-by-error. By trying different points of view, tenses, and storylines, I have been able to stretch myself as a writer. Last night, I had the opportunity to look over the first pages I worked on last July. I had thought they were pretty good, but now see everything that is wrong with them. For a moment I felt discouraged, then I recognized my growth and I now feel grateful. I’m grateful first and foremost to my family who have allowed me this time to stretch my wings and I’m thankful to my instructors and peers who have held my hand along the way.
So what’s next. Although I will not be getting another job in the immediate future, my time has been redirected and writing full-time is no longer possible (at least for the next few months). I have fought feelings of disappointment for the past week, but am now resigned, maybe even excited about the next chapter in my life. While working full-time I managed to write, a lot it seems in retrospect, and now I’m back to stealing minutes to work. Since I’ve resolved to hold tight to my writing dream, there is no turning back and I will do what it takes to keep up with my work. Who knows, I might become a more focused, and dare I hope, better writer.
Here is a video I have watched over and over again. I can relate too much of what Neil Gaiman speaks about in this commencement speech, particularly his point about making good art when life throws you a curve ball. A curve ball has been thrown my way and I intend to take it and make good art.