Setting the course is an important step, but you also have to steer the ship. This is how dreams become practical realities and it’s a daily chore. Every day we have to make decisions about what we will do and how long (or how much energy) we will devote to doing it.
As writers, we know we need to:
- Make a living,
- Write our works,
- Build our platforms,
- Publish our works, and
- Market our published works.
While there is room for some flexibility, each of these tasks “should be” done daily. (Personally, I try not to “make a living” or engage in direct marketing on Sundays, but I try to balance out each of these tasks every other day of the week.)
Life happens. The wind gets knocked out of our sales. Our ships burn before they can come in. It sucks, but we’ve got to deal. We swim to shore, pick ourselves up, dry ourselves off, and start building again.
When you find yourself in such a situation, priorities shift. You’re setting a different course, so you have to steer your ship a bit differently, too. The first thing you have to do is admit it.
Re-building takes a lot of energy.
It just does. There’s no way around that. In a way, it takes more energy than building does, because there’s a degree of frustration involved that takes its own extra bit of energy. Any way you look at it, needs rise as new, more urgent priority in your life.
As writers, we know:
- Make a living is a physical need.
- Write our works is a psychological need.
- Build our platforms is a psychological want.
- Publish our works is a psychological want; unless that’s how we make a living, and then it’s a need.
- Market our published works is a psychological want; unless that’s how we make a living, and then it’s a need.
We have to meet our needs before we can fulfill our wants. The truth, however, is if we don’t give ourselves time to write, then we’ll just dig ourselves into a psychological hole that’s very hard to climb out of. After all, you didn’t start out writing for fame and fortune. Well, maybe you did. If you’re like me, then you didn’t. If you’re like me, you started out writing because you had to, because you couldn’t not write, because there was stuff in your head that had to get out. So, you wrote, you got it out, and then, only then, did you start thinking about what you were going to do with it.
Admit that you need to write and you’ll be able to steer your ship through any rough waters you come across.