Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Decision is Yours

At some point in your writing, you’re going to have to make a decision whether or not this is going to be your career or if it'll always remain a hobby. And if you fail to make a conscious choice, don’t worry (or maybe you should worry) the decision has been made for you. Not deciding is a decision itself – the decision that you’re going to let fate decide for you without any input or action from you. And that’s okay, if that is what you want – BUT if you really want to be a writer, you’re going to have to decide to be one.

As Dr. Phil often says, “Keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.”

Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but these exceptions are rare. I don’t know of many famous writers who slid into the profession without any conscious decision or preparation on their part. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m sure many writers have held down other positions before they decided to write for a living. But if you check, I wouldn’t be afraid to bet that somewhere in their history you’ll find they harbored the desire to write a book or story and made the decision to write if only part-time.

Hundreds, maybe thousands of people have said at one time or another, “I’d like to write a book someday” or “I’ve thought of writing a book but I just don’t have the time” or even “I might write a book someday” or some variation of these statements. Are these people writers? Unless they actually sit down and do it the answer is NO, they’re not. They’re in the same category as the people who say “I’d like to travel in Europe and maybe live there someday” or “Sometimes I think I’d like to chuck it all and join the circus” or “If I became president, things sure would be different.” All legitimate thoughts, thoughts many of us have had, but are they decisions to do these things. Of course not. They are just whims or passing fancies.

If you want a writing career don’t let it be a passing fancy. Make the decision to do it. Your children can’t make the decision for you! Your parents can’t make the decision for you! Your husband can’t make the decision for you! Your friends can’t make the decision for you! This is one you have to make for yourself. It is YOUR decision and whatever you decide will be the right decision for you.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Good point, Lynette, and a nice reminder that NOT making a decision is making a decision, too.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Glynis said...

I once said, I would love to move abroad(from UK),DH said, why don't we and here we are in Cyprus. I then decided to come out of the closet with my poetry and s/p two books. I now am writing a novel. I decided that I had courage enough for the other dreams, so this one might come true too.

I enjoyed my visit.