A (Re)New(ed) Motivation

Yes, I’m making a second post, but I just had to. See, I got something new to share. After I made my last post earlier, I surfed around and looked at some of the blogs I like to follow that I hadn’t had a chance to look at yet today (though, as I write this, it’s actually tomorrow. See what you get for reading an sf writer’s blog? TIME TRAVEL!). One of the first blogs I tend to look at is my daughter’s. There’s actually two reasons for this: 1) I wanna see what, if anything, she’s posted lately; and, 2) she has links on her blog to a couple others I follow (that way I don’t have to crowd my bookmarks bar lol).

So, today, my daughter wrote about a quote that’s been bouncing around in her head that she’s wanted to put up on her blog and she finally did it today. You can read her full blog post about it here (it’s not long, but it’s good. Like Stephen King said, I get diarrhea of the mouth sometimes, but Jesi doesn’t). It will link you back to the original post with the quote in it.

The reason I bring this up is because it made me see things in an entirely new way, and when I told my daughter that, she said that’s why she posted it. Me and my kid, we think a lot alike in some ways, and I dig that.

Okay, let’s start out with my version of the quote (you can read the full post here):

I know what I want to do with my life. I think people think I’m joking when I say, “I’m gonna work dead-end jobs and write novels my whole life,” but I’m being perfectly serious. I could not care less what my day job is; I just want to write. Specifically, I want to write speculative fiction. Fantasy, sci-fi, and everything in between.

Obviously, I don’t know a whole lot about Qzie, but I’ve read enough of her blog to know she’s a college senior at WMU (help me out here, Qzie, cuz I never heard of that one) and she’s taking Creative Writing courses. It’s the quote that really gets me, though, and when I read it on Jesi’s blog I had a consciousness shift.

Let me explain.

I have wanted to write for years. I’ve dreamed of being a professional, full-time author. I’ve been practical about it, knowing that it’s hard to become a full-time writer, but that never stopped me from dreaming. Granted, it’s only lately that I’ve actually gotten serious about it, but that’s life. I refuse to cry over spilled milk. I’ve gone through a few too many things in the last couple years to do that.

The thing is, I always looked at it as an either/or situation. How could I find time to write and have a day job? I always looked at it like I had to either work or write. I was always looking for a way to make the jump from working all those dead-end jobs to being a full-time writer. But I could never find a feasible way to do it.

Then I read Jesi’s post. And my brain shifted.

Maybe it seems like a simple thing to some of you. It should be. I mean, practicality demands that you can’t just wake up one day and be a full-time writer. You have to build up a readership, get fans, etc., etc. I knew that, but I wasn’t applying it, if you get what I mean. I wanted to find a get rich quick method, and those things just don’t exist.

And you have to add in the fact that I didn’t think I could be happy doing both. I mean, I always looked at it like the only way I’d be happy about my writing was if I became a full-time writer. I didn’t want to accept anything less. (There’s a good blog post about that subject here. And he has another good, somewhat related post here.)

But after reading my daughter’s post, I realize that I can accept the dead-end jobs as long as I can write. And if it means I’m making a little extra money on the side selling my stories, so much the better.

I don’t wanna draw this out. I’ve already made a pretty long post today (yesterday). But I had to get this out there. Maybe it doesn’t seem all that cosmic to you, but it’s changed my outlook, and for the better, as far as I’m concerned.

Sometimes, that’s all we need: a new perspective. Try one on sometime.



PS. Jesi, good luck with NaNo! You go, girl! Love, Dad.


2 thoughts on “A (Re)New(ed) Motivation

  1. qzie

    WMU stands for Western Michigan University (but it’s actually in southwest Michigan). It’s one of those schools that lets you major in Creative Writing. 🙂

    I don’t think there are that many actual career authors in existence at the moment, anyways. Most of them kept their day jobs (though I have to admire this one blogger who actually quit hers for one year to focus on writing).

    1. gilmiller Post author

      Yeah, I asked Jesi and she said she thought it was Western Michigan University but wasn’t sure, so I decided to leave the question in. Thanks.

      Actually, from what I’ve seen, there are two types of working authors: those who have it as more or less a second job, and those like Stephen King who’ve been successful enough that they don’t have to worry about it anymore. I know from stuff I’ve read about him, though, that he still has the mindset of being poor (it’s so interesting to read just how poor he was when he published Carrie. If you ever get a chance, read his book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft if you haven’t already). Sf/f is a tough field in some respects because it’s not as widely read as some other genres and so authors can be bestsellers and still need a day job. I knew this as well when I had my somewhat dysfunctional view of how I wanted my writing career to be. For some reason, some things just don’t dawn on me like you’d think they would. I get a lot of strange looks sometimes lol.

      BTW, I’d like to thank you and Jesi for that quote she and I used. It originated with you, yes, but I doubt I would have seen it if she hadn’t posted it on her blog. I’m at an age where my eyes are starting to go on me, so looking at a monitor for very long is a bad idea, and, having been without a job for almost two years, I can’t afford to go to an optometrist. I worked for a company that supplies aluminum wheels to the auto industry, and you being from Michigan I’m sure you’ve seen firsthand what’s happened there. We shipped to several places in Michigan, including Lansing, Flint and some others I don’t remember. Anyway, the point is that, until I get glasses or something, I doubt I’ll be doing like my kid and going back and reading older posts on blogs I like, so that’s why I probably wouldn’t have seen your comment.

      Thanks for stopping by.


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