One of the mistakes I (and others) have made is allowing an interest or hobby to become a business.
In my case, I was really interested in but not passionate about gardening as an income. Great hobby though! Having said that, it was a better way to make a living in the country compared to raising cattle, cutting wood, or feeding hogs.
And as you’ll recall I can make those observations from personal experience.
Take it from me, writing is ever so much better than any of the above.
Having said that, the allure of “the writer” is such that it can suck you in, removing all traces of joy as you develop and face deadlines. It is one thing to toss off a few words that have been brewing in your head for a few days and quite another to look at 3000 words a day.
Every day. All week. All month.
I’ve written a few books that way and by the end of each of them, I never wanted to see them again.
The writer’s challenge is to continue the joy and love of words, thoughts, and their marriage against the outside pressure of economics.
Some retreat from this. Many of us embrace it for a while, burnout, recover, re-embrace, ad nauseum. And some, a precious few, revel in it all – but I don’t know any of them.
If I knew how to overcome this, I’d tell you but I’m as prone to it as the next person. I tend to deal with it by giving myself specific projects to do and ignoring all the rest that “should” be done but aren’t yet in emergency status.
I’ll try to work on one project until it’s done. Take that accomplishment to the next.
I’m in that phase now. I’m focusing on a structural rebuilding of the websites and other mechanical tasks. There’s little new writing coming out of me but I can (after 6 months) feel the pressure behind the dam starting to build and I know that once I have the structural work done, I’ll be back to a full creative life. These letters are the overflow.
The issue here is always trusting there’s a creative life inside you, in knowing it will recover to reemerge stronger and, sometimes, in ways you may not expect. It is about listening to the inner voice that knows it will be back and allowing the strategic retreats and re-emergences in a new form.
Trusting ourselves is what we have to do.