Career Status Update: 7 Weeks In!
Updated: Oct 3, 2021
Status update on exciting new career that I am absolutely not too old to be doing!
It was July 10th when I had my official HOLY SHIT moment that I am absolutely a writer, I have always been a writer, and I desperately want to be a writer, full-time, for the rest of my life. 7 weeks! I am thrilled with my progress with only one misgiving and one notable surprise.
I set up my writer website. I did this a little at a time and really did not intend on going live until I had more content for it. Then I thought, part of what I want to write about is the process of starting a new career at this age so hey, let the barren little site fly. It’s not like anyone ever visits it!
I got accepted into a novel writing course that starts 10/1. This is a big one. I really want the extra guidance and motivation for this first novel and I’m thrilled to be working with Jericho Writers for it. COVID-willing, there are even some live events to attend, which will be awesome.
I finished two short stories, both of which are pretty decent. I have a long way to go, but nothing has been too embarrassing to share publicly, so we will call that a win! (I have a third in progress, by which I mean, I have an idea and a rough plot, and my main focus is a lot of stomping around the house grumbling about the fact that I’m not writing it.)
I have way more detail around the plot and characters of my novel. I have spent hours studying writing, taking classes, and listening to podcasts and I can already see the results of this hard work. I’ve been purposefully not writing the novel itself yet and choosing instead to practice short stories and essays until the class starts. But I am always thinking about it and adding detail.
I even came up with an idea for a potential fiction series that I was so excited about, I registered domain names for it. I don't even have a committed genre for it, only a setting haha. Yes, I do tend to take things too far, that was a good observation on your part.
Misgiving: I’ve averaged only 1,811 words per week. High: 3,087. Low: 400 lol. Of course, I’m still learning how to get out of the funk of “I don’t know what to write next” and my annoying Type A-ness makes me feel like I have to read everything and study everything RIGHT NOW which is at the expense of actual writing time. But I think I have a process that makes sense to me now that will lead to better word counts. Goal = 5,000 words per week.
Biggest surprise: The transferable nature of my skillset. At Fine Point, I had something called my “weekly review”. It was a spreadsheet of 10-12 things that I looked at after every week and filled in stats for - things like cash flow, progress on a project, employee satisfaction or whatever. I used the same process for writing - with metrics like words written, blog visits, hours spent on coursework, on reading, etc. I don’t know why this surprised me, but it did.
When I decided to pursue this writing career, I naturally wrote out what I called a business plan. It includes my mission and my “why”, the values I hold and want to write about, marketing ideas, education sources, community sources, and the “products” I intend to make with my words. The next logical step in my brain was to create my weekly checklist - a little tool to make sure I’m making progress from one week to the next.
So there's my update. Wait, I almost forgot, I QUIT SMOKING! I am on Day 11. I'm so thrilled to have this opportunity to write and I genuinely feel that I've finally found my dream job! So finally, at long last, I found the will. I can't do anything to jeopardize the years I will need to get really freaking good at this. 😎
Favorite quote: “Understanding story is not just entertainment or a way to gain deeper fulfillment. Understanding story is how we unite, how we fight, how we defend, how we attack. Story is how we survive.” Brannan Sirratt.