My writing career began in earnest almost seven years ago today. I had been working in bits and pieces online writing content and comments, but my big break came when I had the chance to write a community column for the local paper for one full year. "Write what you want - as long as it is 750 words."
I loved the freedom to write what I wanted to write, but only producing one column a month left me with a LOT of procrastination time. My blog offered some motivation for my writing, but when I am the only visiting the site it can be tough to think that it HAS to be done.
Writing conferences and online classes gave me inspiration to try new directions. I published in several magazines and even had a regular column in a regional travel magazine. It seemed to be coming together, but what was IT?
"Write your business plan. You have to know where you are going if you are ever going to reach your success."
I wrote out my business plan - and even saved it on my computer. The only thing worse than not having a map is having a map and not using it.
Getting Past Self to Reach Success
I confess that I worry others may not like what I write or they may think it is too amateur to be worth the paper where it is printed. BUT . . . it is just another excuse for not doing what I know to do. Even the content that I provide can meet with disapproval, but I do not worry about that. I just write. This year I will just write and let those that want to read - read.
I admit that I stress over making enough money to make ends meet. The content jobs provide me a buffer of comfort even though they eat of the time and energy I could be using to expand my writing career into the niche I desire. BUT . . . the content may hurt more than it helps. A full-time freelance writing career takes focus and persistent and I am unable to provide what it needs if I am looking in other directions for opportunities. This year I will focus in one direction for three months and then evaluate the steps and plan for the next three.
I acknowledge that I am not doing all that I know to do despite saying I am trying to do it. There are so many things that cry out for attention and I often get hung up in the chaos. BUT . . . life is filled with distractions and I can make excuses or make a plan. Things will happen. My reaction to those things will determine my success. This year I will ask others to help me stay accountable to my plan, purpose and passion.
I concede that I missed the mark. I took the shot and my aim was not pure. BUT . . . I shot. Looking back at the year there were a number of accomplishments that make me stand a little taller and smile a little wider. This year I will continue to shoot. I will also work on my aim.
I am the only thing standing in the way of my success. I can choose to step over self or let self become the very obstacle that leaves me stuck in the "it could have been."
Watch where you are stepping, but be bold enough this New Year to take that step!