Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Career Writer: The Distance Between Decision and Commitment

The moment I decided to become a "career writer" was not, in fact, the moment I actually did anything about becoming a writer. Nope, there was a good year of eating bonbons while watching everything on Food Network and HGTV. Yep, I didn't so much as read.

Clearly, I was destined for monumental success. ~cough~

The moment of the decision came whilst in the throes of Total Life Chaos -- that other kind of TLC. I'd abruptly discovered I was physically incapable of continuing the lifestyle of Checking All The Success Boxes. You know the boxes -- crafted from the finest expectations of society and filled with all the rational "shoulds" and "musts." I'd invested heavily in the facade of the Right & Responsible Way. I was good at Exceeding Expectations ... until I broke.

Amusingly, conforming to what society 
had deemed best for me had made me literally sick.

So I stopped living up to a false ideal. I tuned out all the Theys and Thems. I listened within. It took a while to reconnect with me, my individuality, and my desires. Eventually, I succeeded. After a time, when I asked myself every Hiring Manager's favorite question, "Where do you see yourself in five years," the answer came easily and with truth.

I saw myself telling stories. 

Since a pack of slavering wildebeests can carry a tune far better than me, I knew I wasn't heading to Broadway. A rusty sieve can retain more than my feeble memory, so Hollywood was out of the question too. If I couldn't perform someone else's stories, I'd write my own damn tales and maybe even get them published. I gave myself permission to be as weird and as eccentric as my recovering good-girl corporate-self could muster...but maybe I'd give those super odd inclinations to a character first and see how that panned out for her.

I started writing.

With all the writing came the learning -- about the business first, then about the craft. Hey, I said I was a recovering business wonk. I analyzed the hard rules and sifted through the purely subjective guidelines. I've made glorious mistakes and fabulous friends in the years since I transitioned from decision to commitment.

Any day now, I'll be Published with Pride. Any day now ...


  1. Who wants to stay home and bake perfect cookies for the perfect 2.5 kids who come home in fresh pressed clothes, clean the white picket fence home while the husband pulls up in the shiny car?

    Nah, that would be boring. Now add some meddling gnomes to the garden, or a vampire living in the basement who helps the kids with their homework and now we are talkin'. :)

    Here's sending good vibes your way KAK!

    1. LOL! Thanks, Alexia! I totally opted for the mischievous gnomes plus a dragon in the yard. :D