One of my blog readers wrote me recently and her question was a really good one. She said that she did not want to work for anyone and does not want to waste time working for a company when she really just wants to write. Here’s her question:
Dear Mr. Harris,
“I’ve been following your blog for quite some time now and I truly appreciate the information that you share, however, I don’t believe that my question has ever been addressed. I know that you are a huge advocate of clients targeting places that they would like (or rather LOVE) to work at. Yet I find myself in the position of having NOWHERE that I would like to work. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not a lazy person—I’ll work just about anywhere. But I am only passionate about writing. It’s been suggested that I go back to school and use my writing skills to assist companies with grant and technical writing, but I would rather watch paint dry! What options is there for someone like me in the real world when my only passion is writing fiction (and praying to get a deal)?”
Hello, I am glad that you find the info that I share useful, thanks for following my blog. It appears that you have identified your real passion and your life’s purpose. You have the most important obstacle out of the way. You would be surprised to hear that the overwhelming majority of people I come in contact with have not figured out what they have been put here on earth to do. Even people who you might consider to be successful. People are making lots of money and have great jobs, but they are not happy. Usually when I ask them what their plan is, they say they want to grow with a company and have a steady income. That’s it. Not that they love to help people, or they are passionate about a particular thing, they just want a job where they can make a lot of money. I immediately go into system overload since I think it would be crazy to not know what my passion and purpose is and not be pursuing it each day.
Your situation is not unique to only aspiring authors, but many people can relate. Musicians, entrepreneurs, actors, and any person who has a dream that is not currently reality can relate to your story. I apologize if it appears that I speak only to those who are seeking to enter careers in which they work for someone else. I myself can relate to your situation. While I love working in career services and being able to help people to find meaningful careers, my dream is to one day run my business Career SkyRocket LLC full-time. I am also working on starting a program in the city I live to help my community. Besides my faith, striving to be a great husband and father, and muscle cars, there is nothing else that I am more passionate about than growing my business and getting the program I mentioned off the ground. However, I have to provide for my family until my business gets to the place I want it to be. There are millions of people who can relate to this story. Some have chosen to utilize their gifts to work for a company in order to be able to do what they love and provide for their families while working on their dream career situations simultaneously. Others have chosen to abandon jobs in order to pursue their dreams full-time. You will have to decide what works best for your situation.
If you decide that you would rather focus all your attention on pursuing your career as a published author and you don’t need an income to support your life style then do so. Put all your energy into walking in your purpose. Do you read books from other writers? The best thing you can do to improve your own writing is to read the writing of others. I read material and books from other career coaches on a regular basis since you can always learn something new and get better at your craft. If you don’t want to go to school for writing be sure to engage in some form of professional development. Attend writers’ conferences and retreats, writing workshops, and join writing critique groups. Meeting published writers as well as fellow aspiring writers will provide you with support, encouragement and advice. They may also introduce you to people inside the business and offer helpful resources.
If you are like most people who don’t have the option of not working and need income, there are a few options you can consider. You can follow my path. I chose to work doing something that I love while balancing my business on the side. There are different options other than grant writing and technical writing. I have seen social media writers who write for company blogs, people who write for magazines and various publications, playwrights, greeting card writers, editors, people who write for advertising agencies, and people who teach others to write. This can be very challenging since if you are like me you wish you had more time to put into your business and projects. Often times when you get home from work you are tired and you want to relax and spend time with your family. I usually turn off work, but the projects and things that I want to do for my business and the community program never turn off in my mind. I make time to complete things when everyone is sleep (like right now), on lunch breaks, weekends, and whenever I can get some free time. This goes without saying but make sure to make time to write. If you are passionate about something you will always find time for it. Complete your stories, proofread and edit them, and have someone you trust do some editing and proofreading as well. Once you have a version you are comfortable with to send out, start sending out query letters. Build a network of published authors and pick their brain as to what it will take to be published. There are other avenues than working for a brick and mortar company as well that you could do to make money using your gift to write. You could do some consulting. You can do freelance writing or ghost writing, or you can enter writing contests that offer cash prizes to the winner.
No matter which road you decide to take, know that you are not alone and that you have options. You can work for a company doing what you love to do, offer your gift as a freelance or consulting opportunity, or you could focus fully on bringing your dream to fruition. Just be consistent in your effort and work at it each day. You could start a blog about your endeavor to be published and it may attract someone who loves your writing and offer you an opportunity to send your manuscript. Complete your book, get it edited, write your query letters and send your manuscripts, and wait for responses. You may get rejection letters, it happened to people who are great writers. J.K.Rowling, says her mailbox filled up with rejection letters, 12 publishers passed on her Harry Potter book, but she didn’t let it stop her. No matter what keep following your passion. What do you have to lose?
Thanks for reading my post! I am the owner of Career SkyRocket LLC a professional resume writing and career coaching service. I have also been published on CAREEREALISM as well. Follow my blog Career Thoughts. Let’s Connect! Follow me on Twitter, visit my Facebook page, or connect with me here on LinkedIn.