The Daily Steps Project - Day 1
I'm 34 years old.
I've been writing in some capacity and varying levels of productivity roughly since I was twenty; right around the time I began writing scripts in film school.
Since then I've done okay for myself as a writer. I'm more proud of my output in those years than any dubious recognition or meager earnings I've had along the way.
I've had one-act plays and short films produced. I've published a handful of poetry and have had fiction and non-fiction pieces published in print and online outlets. The point here is not to brag, but to take stock of what I've done already because it's finally time to start moving forward again as a writer.
Moving forward means finding an audience. I'm not interested in making a living as a writer. Of course, that would be great, but it's not what is motivating me. I just want people, anyone, to read what I'm writing. The more, the better. It's what most creative types want: an audience. Otherwise, you're just playing with yourself.
Time and Relative Stability
Every artist's (and I hate applying that term to myself) needs are different. Some need to struggle and have that fight for survival to drive them forward. That's not me. I need time to work and I need to not be worrying about things like rent and food. That's when I'm free and when I'm at my best creatively. That's when I can let my mind go to where it needs to go when I write.
For years, I worked an eight-to-five job with weekends off, and it was awful for my creative life. I had the basic needs aspect met, but the time was never there. Two days off was never enough for anything meaningful.
It took me many years, but I finally have the other half of that puzzle. It took a lot of hard work and a little bit of good fortune along the way (by good fortune, I mean being able to see when a perfect opportunity was right in front of me and trusting to leap towards it), but now I have a job that gives me the added time I need for my writing.
So Now What?
Over the years, and really, the last twelve months in particular, I have a specific list of goals I want to accomplish as a writer. These are goals that have been put off for a multitude of reasons. Those days of putting them off are over.
I have three books to put out. One is a novel. Another is a poetry collection. The third is a reprint of a short-story collection that is in dire need of a second edition. I also want to create a storytelling podcast. Beyond the creative aspect of these is the promotion and practical side of the work too, the side that gets the eyes tuned in. On top that, there's new books to be written too!
It's daunting and I see other people out there who are doing it and have done what I want to accomplish. In the past, that paralyzed me because I was comparing myself to their finished project and I had no idea where to start.
So, instead of trying to make the finished product my first step, I've decided to just get started. Little steps everyday. Just do something. Make time. Even if all I can squeeze in is ten minutes, then I'm ten minutes closer to where I want to be.
To keep myself honest, I'm going to document these steps here as I go. You're welcome to follow along.