“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
― Albert Einstein
When I first started writing, things went real good, and my career moved fast. Seriously, fast. As in I wrote my first piece of fiction in 2003, and sold my first novel to Berkley, on proposal, in 2005. I’d never even written a full novel before, and before I was done writing that first one I had three other contracts. I was lucky in that I was writing what was hot, when the genre started to get really noticed by big publishers, and that I seemed to be good at it.
I was also really uneducated about the whole industry. At the time this was happening I didn’t get that it was unusual and that many writers struggled for years before selling. When I did start to get an inkling of how easy I’d had it, I knew there would come a time for me to pay my dues, but I never anticipated it would be in a way that affected my whole life, and not just my writing.
Several months ago I came out of the closet- so to speak- about what’s been going on in my life for the past couple years. I did it on the Genreality group blog because I’m there every Tuesday and the blog is all about life as a professional writer. I’d talked about the health issues full-time writers face many times, usually to do with the body, but in this Healthy Writer post I talked about the heart, spirit and soul of it. Since then I’ve heard from and talked to so many writers who have suffered from/dealt with mental health issues that it’s surprised me there wasn’t more out there about it.
Right now, I’m in the ‘keep on moving forward’ stage of things. My motivation is there, but my concentration still isn’t what it used to be. I still get disappointed in myself because I set goals and then can’t meet them, the thing is, I’m setting my goals according to what I used to be able to do, and not allowing for easing back into things.
Example: I really wanted to have ONE CHOICE release in August when I went to AAD in New Orleans, but I never got it written in time. In fact, I’m still writing it. This is frustrating to me because it’s only a short story, and I know I
could used to be able to write that in a weekend. The issue isn’t all finding the time to write. If I’m honest, I can find the time. The problem is when I do find the time, I have a very hard time sitting down and concentrating.
Then, it seems like every time I do get focussed and moving forward on my writing, something happens. Work calls, someone knocks on the door, a friends calls asking for a favor that for whatever reason I feel I can’t say no to. I find myself getting very frustrated, but I just keep telling myself to keep moving forward. I think this is a lesson everyone needs… things are rarely smooth going in life, and the key to success in whatever you choose to do is to keep moving forward.
Am I right? Or am I wrong?