I recently posted about the common conflict many creatives have with the drive to express/pursue/develop/BE our creative selves versus the pressing responsibilities of expenses and commitments in Dreamer vs Day Job .
The idea of living comfortably or even well from our craft is just a dream for many of us.
This weekend I attended a couple of the NZSA Auckland branch AGM Turning The Page workshops. I was lucky enough to hear Nalini Singh, NY Times best selling author and all-round lovely person, discuss the business side of publishing. Her success has been outstanding, and I learnt some useful things, a number of which I will discuss in other blogs. In terms of dreamer vs day job, just like many of us creatives, when she started out, she worked fulltime.
She held down a demanding day job, the forerunner to a demanding career. Even when she took a chance and quit that career to write, she still worked, albeit in a less demanding role, in a situation that for many of us would be challenging to say the least. During this sabbatical of combined work and writing, she achieved her breakout publishing deal, and even then worked part-time, just to be safe.
Those days are long gone for Nalini, she is well and truly a fulltime writer. But it was encouraging to me, and I hope it will be to you also, to know that it is entirely possible to work long, demanding hours, to manage lives and families, meeting all of our various commitments, and still see the fulfilment of our goals. We just have to be long-sighted, pragmatic, and committed. Seize each possible moment and bend it to our purpose.
For me, it has taken years to complete my first novel to a standard I am happy with. I could go on indefinitely perfecting it, but I really want others to share the world I’ve created, and the journey my characters go on. I wrote this novel to share the story, not just perfect the telling of it. Besides, what is perfect to one person might be sadly lacking to another. But I needed to tell it well enough for readers to want to continue the journey with Skye and Hunter. I hope I’ve done that. I’m also two-thirds of the way through writing book two. And I’ve done it working fulltime, managing traumas and complicated responsibilities, as we all do.
So be encouraged. If Nalini can do it; if countless other brave and visionary creatives can do it; if even I can get this far in achieving my goals, so can you, and more. You probably already are. Be strong, and go well, keep the faith and fan your unique creative fire. Your vision, and you, are worth it. Happy writing.