When I Grow Up I Want To Be A __________.

The thought of dropping any chance at another job and throwing everything I have into writing scares the crap out of me. Don’t get it twisted though. It’s not that I’m freaked about what people think–well, not that freaked about what people think. The real thing that freaks me out is that I won’t be able to make a living doing this deal, but by the time I figure that out I’ll have blown my chances of doing something else. That’s a serious dragsville kind of thought, you know?

This here topic has been stewing in my mind a lot lately. I’ve been in school for longer than I’d like to admit, taking “easy” classes at a junior college so I can bank my G.I. Bill money and have more time for writing. Money is a little tight, but my wife wants me to make a good run at this thing and so I figure, “What the heezy? I might as well give it a go.”

The thing is, the G.I. Bill isn’t a bottomless pit of cash-o-la. I’ve got about another year of school benefits, but after that I’m S.O.L. This is the thought that sets my brain into a you-gotta-get-a-real-job sort of frenzy.

And I know that my brain–however panicked at times–has a pretty solid point. At some point I’m going to have to figure something out that doesn’t involve using the V.A. to subsidize my dreams. The grand plan is to have a manuscript ready to chuck at every agent who bites at a query, but I get a little shook wondering if that’ll pan out. I mean, I’ve got a plan–oh Lord, have I got some plans–but the best laid schemes of mice and men tend to go pear-shaped even when we’ve got things planned out to the fricken letter.

I want to be a writer more than anything though, you know? It’s literally the only thing I can imagine doing for the rest of my days. But that what-if-I-fail thought keeps scratching at the back of my head, getting louder each time I try to turn the volume down on it.

I guess the point of this whole post is to see what you all think in a feedbacky sort of way. If you’re aiming at being a writer–and by “writer” I mean one of the full-time variety–what’s your plan for getting there? Do you work your normal job and squeeze in time to tap the keys after the office? Or are you holed up in a studio apartment surviving on ramen so you can focus on doing the deal?

Finally I want to give a high-five to my new followers, Freshinkadmin and Ladyromp. There’s no blog connected to the Freshinkadmin link aside for a Gravatar–at least not one I can see–but I stuck the link there anyways in case he or she sees it. Thanks to both of you for following!

Have a good one, duders.


On Embracing My Inner Suck

There’s something nasty living in my head–something besides my brain, I mean. I know it’s there because I hear it almost every time I sit down to write, its raspy little voice telling me how much I suck. I’ve got some theories on what it is–head gremlins is at the top of the list for now–but I’d need a CAT scan to test them, and I don’t know if my health insurance would be cool with that.

I’ve talked to a lot of writers and found out that I’m not the only one with a case of the head gremlins. In fact, some pretty big names in the industry battle with their own. During an interview I heard with Charlaine Harris she talked about how the fear of failure has never gone away even after all her success. Let me tell you, that blew my mind right off the hinges. I mean, come on! This is a lady who has killed it when it comes to best-sellers. And, hello? Ever heard of True Blood? With all she’s done, Bill Gates has probably got a better chance of bouncing a check than she has of failing as a writer.

The fact is that those head gremlins won’t ever close up shop. No, sir. Those little suckers are going to be whispering sweet nasties in my ear even if HBO buys the TV rights to my steamy vampire series. So then what do I do? Quit writing because I’m scared? No way, duder. Not a fricken option.

But alas! I’ve found a simple fix for the problem. See, whenever those voices start squawking I always ask myself which is scarier: trying to write and then falling on my face or lifelong regret because I never tried? When I think about it like that it’s totally easy. The thought of growing old with a brain full of regret is more terrifying than anything those gremlins have to say.