This post is geared, not necessarily toward your progress in ROW80, but more toward what happens next. But, at the same time, the subject of the post could determine whether you decide to stick to your goals or give up. It has a lot to do about our attitude toward what we’re doing, but, in many cases, we let the attitude of others play way too large a part in what we do about those goals. I’ll start with a conversation I had with my husband.
Me: I need to go work on my book.
Hubby makes some smart remark, I can’t remember exactly what.
Me: This is a part time job just like if I was working for someone else.
Hubby: No, it’s not. It’s a hobby.
Me: What do you mean, it’s a hobby? It’s a job!
Hubby: A job is where you go somewhere to work and come home. Writing is just a hobby.
Me: You spend money on hobbies. You make money on a job. What about that new patio set? What about the new BBQ grill? What about the new shelving unit? What about the vacation I’m taking where I don’t have to use any money from our full time jobs?
And it goes on and on. The bottom line is that most people won’t see our writing as a real job. If we have to leave a friend’s house early because we need to write, they just don’t understand why. They don’t get the fact that it’s a job and we need to work. This whole attitude makes me furious sometimes. Why is someone else’s job more important just because they are working for someone else? In fact, I feel like my job is MORE important because it’s MY business and I’m working for myself.
So, you are going to run into people who will never take you seriously. I’ve made over $13,000 from my writing so far, and my husband still doesn’t get it. There may be some of you who are doing this whole writing thing just for the fun of it. But I bet most of you are doing it because you want to write for a living. Am I right? My point is, don’t let these people discourage you and make you want to give up. Just like with other things (like weight loss), the people you love the most can be the very ones who sabotage your efforts.
I think the best way to keep from being discouraged by unsupportive people is to make sure YOU think of it as a real job. Set times aside for your writing. When speaking to others about your writing, treat it as a job. Be firm about that. If you are already published, keep good sales records. Keep up with your expenses. Do everything that you would do if you were running your own business in another field. If you were running a retail store, you wouldn’t just throw money around willy, nilly and work only when you “felt like it”. You wouldn’t let other people tell you that it wasn’t a real job. You would WORK.
Many of you are just starting this writing journey, and are new to all of this. Some of you will publish traditionally, many more of you will self publish. If you take it seriously and treat it like a business, it will help others take it more seriously. You will have some who will never understand, but no one will understand if you don’t. Writing is a real job. It may be one that you love, but no one ever said you couldn’t love your job. Don’t let anyone ever tell you it’s not real work. I’ve never worked so hard in my life!