Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pursuing Secular Work vs Pursuing Your Dreams

Last night's blog was very therapeutic for me. I forgot why I used to blog all the time a few years ago. Its relieving to express my thoughts in blog form and just writing down my thoughts provided some clarity for me.

I'm beginning to realize that our square jobs are nothing more than dream killers. Granted there are a few square jobs out here that serve a higher purpose than just trying to make the highest pay grade. Teachers, police officers, and a few that I'm forgetting are occupations where you can actually make a difference in people's lives and I have been strongly considering becoming a college instructor once I get in my early 40s in addition to running my thriving publishing company.

Teaching isn't a dream killer for me. Perhaps I won't get as big as Omar Tyree if I become a teacher in my late 30s early 40s, but success for me would be to turn enough of a profit on each of my books where I can enjoy a comfortable living. I don't have to be rich, but building my fanbase slowly but surely could make my aspirations a realistic possibility as long as I continue to write good books, which I will.

I have come to the realization that in order for me to have a writing career I will have to stop chasing dollars so much that I forget about the things and the people who are most important to me. I will never work 70 hour weeks for 2 employers again, unless I'm working for myself. Even then I vow never to be one of those business owners whose working 12 - 15 hour days to get to the top. The way I have my company set up affords me the opportunity to turn a decent profit without putting in crazy hours. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not so idealistic to believe that my business will ever afford me a 4 hour work week 52 weeks every year, but my business model incorporates leverage in every aspect of my company.

The reason I vow never to work 2 jobs again is because the same exact reason I took on my second job this summer --to support my writing-- is killing my writing. Although my reserves are much larger now than they were at the beginning of this summer, I haven't made one ounce of progess since the RIF book club had gotten so excited about A THOUSAND CHANCES upon its initial release date this past spring. Futhermore, as much money as I have made this summer working, I probably would have made more money had I developed thicker skin and took a risk in saying no to the contract job offer and sold my books out the trunk of my car.

See, a lack of focus isn't my problem --after all, it takes a certain level of focus to write a book from start to finish which I have already proven on Its a lack of time. I don't have time to devote to my book and my company at this moment and that's the thing that I grapple with most when it comes to my literary work. I know that the person who commented on my last blog meant well --albeit a bit indignant-- but isolating myself from the world isn't going to get people to buy my book.

Actually, the exact opposite will afford me a better chance to gain exposure for my book. I have to get out and meet people. These two jobs have prevented me from meeting many of my potential readers here in Chicago all because I thought it would be easier to get into stores to do in-store signings in coventional or non-conventional venues. That was until I took the other day off to speak with managers and owners of some of the local area businesses. They all said no to me, and the majority of them mockingly chuckled when I was asking how I can set up an in-store similar to the newspaper subscription sellers at the supermarkets. The same people who allow the locals to solicit Tribune subscriptions all said no to me because I had a book in my hand, and while it was discouraging to hear no at first; I realized that it doesn't feel all that bad and now I know I can handle the word no as a peddler of my own book.

Has the clarity that I've gained solved my present problems? No, but at least I know the path that I have to go down is a long one and that the work that's causing my problems will only last one more month.

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