On many of the blog I follow, there seems to be a resounding theme in much of them. They use words like “marathon” or long term, when speaking about writing. They say stuff like, “it’s not a get rich quick scheme”. This subject came to mind when ruminating about my current situation. I’m currently unemployed. I mentioned that before. I worked for a very large tool company chain setting up new stores, so got to travel a lot. The problem was, I’d be on the road seventeen days at a time, home for three, back out for seventeen, and on and on. So I was getting 3 days off a month, total. We didn’t get any time off on the road, because our store set up schedule was very strict. We had to get in, get done, and get out. The first and last days were spent flying.
When I was hired, I took the job because I was told that I’d have a week home each trip. The week gradually shortened, until it was the 3 weeks on, 3 days off schedule. After about a year and a half of that, being away from my family for such a long period of time, I decided to transfer into a store. A lateral move, I was told. No fuss, no muss, 40 hours a week, weekends off, yada yada. Only, that didn’t happen either.
Long story short, my hours were cut to nothing, and finally the company decided to release me with a “we’ll hire you back on if we need you, you’re still hire-able” that sort of thing.
When my hours were cut I went back to writing. A lot. Now, I’m writing at the very least 6-8 hours a day. I say at the very least because, quite often, it’s more. Sometimes I put in fourteen hours a day. I wouldn’t have been able to do it before. I took the time I was putting into a normal job, and now put it into what I hope is the start of a long writing career. I don’t care about getting rich. I don’t care about having tons of stuff. I just want to be doing something I love, something I actually care about, something I don’t mind pouring 8,10,12 or more hours into a day.
Because I know that, in the end, It will all have been worth it. I know that I have to put in my time. In order to be successful at anything, you put the time in first. You can relax later.
I’m in this for the long haul. That means treating it like a business. Getting up early, coffee, write first, then blog, tweet, Facebook, whatever it takes. Make contacts. Gain readers. Like any business, it takes time to grow. I don’t know what my path to success will be. I’m trying to learn from those who went first, and were successful. I have never done this before, I’m taking the leap because I have nowhere to fall. I’m in a position in my life where the only way to go is up, so that’s where I’m going.