A week ago, my nephew and I had a brief chat that has since redirected (and refocused) my goal. I had my laptop open and was skimming through the novel I started writing last November during NaNoWriMo. I mentioned the word count (something like 36K) and he wanted to know what it was about. I gave him some of the major points I could recall, but then I began thinking as I was talking.
I’ve had numerous excuses to explain why it’s not done: teaching HS and evening classes, family obligations, computer malfunctions, buying a house, etc.) Where do those get me?
I do most of my writing within the confines of the month of November, but I never push myself as much during the other eleven months. When I write–when I REALLY write–I get a rush that is unequaled by anything else I know. I don’t mean to suggest it’s even in the same ZIP code as playing with my children, seeing my wife’s face when I’ve been a part of her happiness, or even getting through to one of my students about anything whatsoever–those are different “highs”.
No. Writing, though, gives me that positive surge that reminds me how life should feel all the time. I’m completely grateful for everything I have achieved in this life so far. I do not often realize how good I truly have it.
But I want to take this just a few steps further and write a book good enough for a publisher to want to try to sell. That’s been a goal for something like 15 or 20 years, and I’ve not pushed myself hard enough for it to happen.
I talk to my students a lot about the “fixed mindset” versus the “growth mindset.” I commonly remind students that growth is always possible if you want it badly enough. I’d be a hypocrite to say that I’m just not good enough to be published.
Imagine a world where everyone loved what they did for a living. Imagine a time where people sought out their goals and didn’t always play it safe.