I am fortunate, especially in this economy, to have an excellent salaried job. I’d like to keep it for a good many years yet. Keep that firmly in mind as you read the next bit.
What I’m after in my career is writing lots of books. That’s it.
Now, I enjoy teaching and public speaking and research and working on marketing projects and helping customers and attending conferences and “other duties as assigned.” I also enjoy exercising and listening to music and spending time with my family and having long conversations with friends. Hey, I enjoy life.
But the thing that’s been waiting for me for as long as I can remember is writing books. Part of the reason I restarted this blog is to make sure my writing chops are where they should be — like Jerry Rice running sprints in the off-season. Some of the books I want to write dovetail beautifully with my day job, so I’m laying groundwork in that direction. And my academic work has already pointed me toward a couple of books that could do something more than show up in other academics’ footnotes.
What isn’t going to work is for me to do things the same way I’ve done them. Why? Because I’ve tried that . . . and no books were forthcoming.
So, what am I doing differently now?
- Setting aside the idea that books come after projects A and B and C and D et cetera. Items A through D likely will get done long before Walker’s First Work hits the shelves at your local bookstore, but they have to happen in parallel — interwoven — with the writing of the books.
- Rebuilding my to-do list from the ground up.
- In general, showing more chutzpah, which mostly means being audacious whenever I’m feeling aversive about writing.
Your life is like your house: you can put the furniture wherever you want it to go. So there’s no sense in complaining if it’s not situated as you’d like it to be.
Or, to put it another way, if something’s a priority for you, act like it.
Are you putting your real interests first? Even if (as with me) it will take years for them to come to fruition?