Before we begin, a brief update on yesterday’s post: I can’t lift my arms. At all. Well, I can, but… it’s not pleasant. Tomorrow is gardening day!
Anyway, today’s post stems from a really quick response I had to a job opportunity coming to my attention (even unpublished authors have to eat, after all). But don’t worry – it’s writing-related.
I know a lot of people – and I’m sure you do too – who say they’d love to write a novel ‘one day’, or learn to play the harp ‘sometime’, or who are just hoping that at some point in the distant future they might get the opportunity to learn a foreign language. And that’s great. It’s good to have long-term dreams, and I appreciate that sometimes it’s just not possible to do what you want to do at the exact moment you commit to it.
But sometimes, there’s no real reason to put off doing what you dream of. You find yourself assigning arbitrary dates – “I’ll start after Christmas” – and milestones – “maybe once I graduate” – but really you’re just putting off doing the hard work, or afraid you’ll mess up if you try. Maybe you just think you’re not ready. I wrote my first (very short, awful) children’s novel at 14, never finished it, and decided that writing a novel would have to wait until I was a proper grown up, had a job, etc. etc.
At age 21, I wrote 50000 words towards a sci-fi novel I’ve not yet finished. At 23, I wrote an entire novel in two months (and change), and got myself accepted to two different anthologies. I was in no way ready, nor did I have enough spare time, to write a novel. I did it anyway.
I don’t know the outcome of this job application, but I’m glad I raced right over there with a CV (it’s in a bookshop). Sometimes, there’s no reason to wait for something that makes you happy. Sometimes you’ve just got to do it. Now.