Those of you who have stuck with me for a long time are familiar with my constant wavering of purpose. Do I try to make money with my blog(s)? Do I try to write a non-fiction book? Do I try to sell things on Etsy and blog? Do I try to become a novelist? For so long I didn’t even bother talking about being a novelist because I had literally given up that dream before I ever had a blog. And then I got past the barrier that was keeping me from writing novels and while writing fiction I was in my element, the same way I am when I draft patterns.
Which isn’t surprising because fashion and writing are my two main passions in life. Pattern drafting is creating just like fiction is, though obviously it has a more practical application.
When I was draping and drafting the apron for the “A is for Apron” book I felt the same way I do writing fiction.
That I am meeting my purpose.
It’s the writing that is essential to me though.
Writing this blog is vital to me for clearing my head and my heart and my spirit. This is where I expend the energy that gets in the way of the more focused writing. This, and facebook. Writing Stitch and Boots is important to me to keep a journal of the food I’m making and the urban homesteading projects I’m getting up to. But it’s also become a stress because I’ve tried to treat it like a professional blog. I started another blog project and it’s a great idea and I could totally pursue it…
But it is a distraction from what I really want.
I want to write novels and be an urban homesteader.
I want to make enough money as a novelist that I don’t need a second job.
I want to write my blogs as way to let off steam and keep a journal of my activities and my thoughts.
And that is all I want.
Treating Stitch and Boots as a professional blog takes too much time. Starting a whole new project that isn’t a novel takes too much time from my goals. From what I really want. So why do I keep doing it? Why am I forever trying to think of how to make Stitch pay or coming up with new ways I could make a living? To make Stitch successful as a business I would need to give up writing fiction. Turning blogs into a source of income takes a lot of work – it’s a job. It doesn’t matter how much you like doing it – IT TAKES A LOT OF TIME. That’s the bottom line. And even when I was spending all that time I never was able to make a go of it.
Which is, I believe, because it has always been a substitute for what I really wanted to do. To be.
I have spent countless hours rewriting what I have come to refer to as “chapter twenty-fucking-three” because it’s what I want to spend my time doing. Meanwhile the thought of recipe testing to get more content up on Stitch sounds tedious. What I really want to do is just post the pictures I have of the mushrooms that we found growing on the property. I don’t even have the energy to do big research on them but I’d like them on the blog so I can refer to them at a later time. If I treated Stitch as my personal urban homesteading journal I would just do that.
And so that is what I’m going to do. I’m going to BE a novelist and an urban homesteader. Right now I have a second job (which is desperately important) but some day I will make a living writing.
I need to wear a sign around my neck to remind me not to create diversions from what I want. The only person who keeps getting in my way is myself. The only reason I keep following these other ideas and complicating things for myself is because I’m afraid. I’m afraid that I’m going to find out that I can’t write novels well enough to make a living writing them. I’m afraid of failing. So I keep trying to figure out how I can develop an income to support writing for a hobby.
But I am not a hobbyist writer. I never have been.
When you really want something you have to walk towards it with intention every single day. You have to push obstacles out of your path. Sometimes there are big obstacles. You have to ask yourself at all times if what you are doing is supporting your goals or hindering them. If what you are doing is hindering them – stop doing it.
I’ve finished one novel and almost finished publishing it here on this blog. I have another novel half finished and the outline for the next Cricket and Grey book. I have books to write.
Yesterday I entered Cricket and Grey in the Amazon Breakout Novel Award contest.
Whatever it is you most want – set your coarse and don’t veer from it.*
*Unless what you want changes along the way – which happens sometimes and it totally fine.