Is it worth it?

A wise lady once said… “The best thing about waking up early to write is how clean your house gets.”

A few weeks ago I started a new job. This is a good thing and I am quite enjoying the work, the people, and the challenges. I was at my last job for 15 years so being the “new guy” has taken a bit of getting used to. It also means that I now got a lot of new things to understand and to develop skills with. Naturally this has added a vast pile of additional items to my “to-do” list.

Right now I could be reading up on any number of IT related things, or blowing the dust off my computer programming skills, but instead I am writing this blog.

There’s a great sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing something. Pride at a job well done is great but trying to decide which job to do well when can get difficult when there are multiple things competing for your time.

I’ll admit that there are days when it all threatens to overwhelm me.

Sometimes those days are just as important as the productive days in between. After a brief period of procrastination I think about why I am doing each thing. Why its worth persisting with it. Why it is valuable to me. Basically I eventually kick myself back into gear.

But as a writer there’s the double whammy. You put in the hours, you make the sacrifices, you write, delete, revise, rewrite and tinker with your WIP until your fingers bleed and your family forgets what you look like. Until that happy moment when you think you are done.

Sadly, the joy of finishing the text is fleeting. Because now comes the (even more difficult) task of finding a publisher and, if you are lucky enough to have your work considered by one, the heartbreaking news that there’s still work to do, that, in actual fact, you aren’t finished.

It is a testament to the resilience of any published author that, after such a rejection, they didn’t decide to give it all up.

This moment will really test my mettle and it is this more than anything else that makes me wonder if this writing thing is just a pointless self indulgence. Add the threat of that to the long list of other important tasks, goals or responsibilities and I ask myself “Is it worth it?”

Well, so far, the answer has been yes.

A surgeon, or university professor must work and study for a decade before they can be considered ready. Being good at anything takes work and work takes time and sometimes that time includes periods of disappointment.

The trick is to try and pick and choose the things to be good at, don’t decide to become a surgeon, a lawyer, a writer, a professor, and an airline pilot all at once, because (unless you are superhuman) you will fail in at least some of them.

Or, perhaps most likely, never achieve any of them. Procrastination is a seductive mistress but she is also a killer…

If you value something enough you will have to work to achieve it. This is the lesson that my writing is teaching me, this is reason I no longer know how to sleep in, these are the values that I want to demonstrate to the people in my life.

So, is it worth it? There may never be a blockbuster movie made from anything I’ve written but I will know that I didn’t give up… well at least I haven’t given up yet.

Now where is that vacuum cleaner? 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Is it worth it?”

    1. Thanks Ciara, what you say is spot on. It does feel good to create an entire world filled with people, each with their own hopes, dreams, and challenges, from nothing but your imagination and a heap of tenacity.

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