As you progress as a writer, you’ll notice the payoffs that are considered important in popular culture for writers. Of course you’ll notice them! You’re one of those pop culture, conventional wisdom suckers, too! (We all are until we investigate further. That’s why it’s called conventional wisdom.)
What are these culturally promoted payoffs of being a writer? Bestseller status! Oh, how we crave it! (Erm…not really.) An agent to book things for you, especially book signings where people are lined up out the door to see little ol’ you! (Uh…REALLY NOT.) And money. Loads of dollarz.
Anyone who makes it beyond their first book is not doing this for any of those reasons. Well…if they’ve been huge successes for decades they may NOW be doing this for those reasons, but these payoffs simply don’t exist for the beginning writer, unless lightning strikes.
So, what are the payoffs that make writing worth it for you NOW?
Why are you doing this crazy-making thing, anyway? Hehe! The BIG QUESTIONS.
Is it the joy of reaching your daily writing target and moving your story forward?
Is it the satisfaction fo getting there even on days when you thought you couldn’t?
Is it that feeling when you write THE END?
Is it dreaming of new worlds, of places only you can make?
Is it the making of those dreams, into something others can finally consume and be consumed by?
Is it that Amazon author page that is now looking so tidy and POPULATED?
Is it the wonder at how far you’ve come — and the joy of having done what so few have?
Spend a little time thinking about what it is that drives you to make this your life. Consider your payoffs, and make sure you’re taking the time to celebrate your accomplishments, even as you strive to keep learning and growing as a writer.
Keep your eyes on the prize. But not the prize that our media-saturated culture presses on you. Keep your eyes on YOUR PRIZE.
For a full list of Own Your Writing Career posts in the order they were written, visit my Writers page. I’ll be back with another Own Your Writing Career post next Thursday. Until then, happy writing!!
“Own Your Writing Career: Eyes on the Prize — What is the Prize, for You?” copyright © 2015 by J.R. Pearse Nelson