The East Pointers have a new album out which means you can expect to see even more of their tunes being used as my blog songs. Today’s track is entitled Two Weeks, and the album is called What We Leave Behind.
Current chain of writing days: 38
After my last post where I shared some good news and possible future happenings in regards to my writing (which got some some lovely feedback from my family and friends, thanks all), I got yet another piece of wonderful news. An email to my inbox started with “congratulations” and while many spam email might start this way this one was from the City of Melbourne’s Library and Recreations department, inviting me to the Lord Mayor Creative Writing Awards 2017, as I had been shortlisted for an award. When it rains it pours, right? And, while admittedly I’ve only been trying this writing game for three years, it was starting to feel a little dry.
And look, I still have a long path to walk. I’ve read enough writing advice and author blogs to know any kind of success doesn’t happen overnight. Even the ones that seem to, usually have a lengthy shadow of practice trailing along behind them. It takes years to do your twenty thousand hours, with the general consensus being that it’ll take ten years of work — in this case, writing every day — before your skills will get to the point that they’ll start to get you paid work and hopefully gain an audience.
I accept that. I have told myself and others that it will probably take till I’m forty to really see if I’m capable of making a living off of writing, and that’s still a pretty big if.
What does get me down sometimes is that it feels like I started so late. While I was always an avid reader and consumer of television I never considered a job creating that kind of content until I already had a science degree behind me and years working jobs I didn’t much enjoy. Once I started writing, and realised how much I enjoyed it, it felt like I had wasted so much time.
Then, today, I saw a tweet. It was from a writer I follow; Cassandra Khaw. It went like this:
What followed was an onslaught of people in all kinds of fields either sharing their stories of starting late and finding success or relief at the fact that they weren’t the only one sharing this worry.
Some were from writers I knew:
Some were people scarcely similar to me:
Some were from people further down the line:
And some were people achieving different goals:
All of them were tales of working hard, and working passionately to achieve a goal, all with one resounding theme: There is no deadline. There is no cut off date to when someone can achieve success. There’s no wrong or right time to change a career, go for a goal, get fit, or start a new hobby.
It can be all too easy to feel like there are checkpoints in life that, once past, means you’ve missed out. But that’s not true. You control your actions, and your actions become your life; so, and this is the important part, you control your life. I think it comes down to just pointing yourself at a goal and taking the first step.
The awards I’ll be going to are on the 7th of December, and oddly I don’t actually know what I’ve been shortlisted for as I entered in two fields; both the short story and novella. Hell, maybe I’ll get lucky and it’ll be both.
Wish me luck.
Remember, do the best you can for as long as you can, that’s all any of us can ever do.