Wednesday, April 27, 2022

On Doing Things And Feeling Accomplished

Today I went out and got my haircut, which since I graduated from BYU-I is something I do less and less frequently now that the only thing I have to make me get a haircut is my wife suggesting it. So it's understandable that it's a bit of a special occasion for me. At any rate, considering I'm in-between jobs at the moment with the majority of my time spent building my career as an author, as I was getting my hair cut, the question turned to what else I had going on that day, presumably with the implied question being how a man in his 30's can make it into a hair salon at noon on a Wednesday.

I mentioned that I'm writing a book, so that would be where the majority of my time would be spent, to which my stylist pointed out how cool it was before mentioning that she didn't think she could ever get herself to sit down and write a full novel. That it would be too hard to focus on, which I suppose is a fair statement. That being said, it got me thinking. As roughly 99% of my readers are aware, this book I'm working on is my second full story I'm having published, having just published The Epiphany Colony (shameless plug because I'm shameless) a couple months ago to the widespread fanfare of...almost nobody, barring a few good reviews.

Anyway, I say it got me thinking because despite the fact that I've done something as big as writing, editing, and publishing my own book, I'd say the relative lack of readers has been a bit of a motivation killer. It feels like no matter the hours I spend writing, editing, marketing, talking, planning, outlining, more writing and editing, it might not really matter because nobody's gonna see it. That in the endless competition for people's space, attention, and (hopefully) money, my work just isn't up to snuff.

This isn't to say that I think The Epiphany Colony is some underappreciated masterpiece of storytelling. Far from it. Heck, the version available on Royal Road with the weird Star Trek-esque Gainax Ending has some of the worst writing I think I've ever done, but the commercial finished product is something I'm proud of and hope to see more success out of.

So you see where I'm at right now. I'm doing something many (I'd argue most) don't feel like they could ever accomplish, and yet I catch myself feeling down, that my work isn't good enough. And I'm not gonna sit here and pretend that this isn't...completely normal in any endeavor, or that other, much more successful creatives don't have the same funks. The trick is finding the motivation to keep going despite them.

I'd encourage you to look at your own life. You're probably doing something a lot of people (probably most) don't feel like they could do. Unless that thing is crime, you should feel good about it! Not because others can't or won't put in the effort for it, but because it's a talent that you have and are trying to cultivate.

Either way, project #2 is coming along quiet nicely at 30,000 words. We're about 1/4 of the way there, so stay tuned!