Taking A Night Off

I didn't work this evening. I work most evenings but tonight I decided to take the night off. I painted some models, did a bit of reading and binge watched the rest of 13 Reasons Why with Naomi. It's an awesome show by the way. 

It felt a bit weird not working but I got over it quickly enough. I had fun doing other things. I'm not saying I don't have fun writing, I do otherwise I wouldn;t do it. But sometimes it's good to take a night off and focus on other things.

I think it's important sometimes to remind yourself that there are other important things in life. I read a lot of biography books and books about the successful mindset and all that. A lot of the books talk about who developed their whole lives to their work and if you want to succeed you must too. I disagree. I think you should have more than one important thing in life. I love writing. It drives me but I love other things too. I love great TV shows, I love spending time with people I care about, I love getting out sometimes, I love playing games. I think it's important to allow myself the time to do all the things I love otherwise that one thing I do all the time might end up not being a thing I love so much anymore. 


Backup Plans

I've been thinking back to my school days today. More specifically to that point in school when you think about what ou want do when you're a grown up and choose the lessons that will get you there. I wanted to be an actor so I chose drama. I remember whilst I was considering my options my teachers and parents kept banging on about having a backup plan. My step-dad very insistent on this point. 

The reasoning was sound. If acting didn't work out then I'd need something to fall back on. If I had an accountancy degree then I'd be able to get another job that would provide well enough for me. I didn't listen and when I decided that acting wasn't for me I ended up spending a year or so as a cleaner whilst I figured out what I wanted to do with my life. 

You'd think that from that story the moral is to have a backup but I'm still not convinced. I think that if you have a backup and you're working towards 2 careers then the one you really want to do isn't getting your full attention. The only way to be the best at what you do is if you put in everything you can and you just can't do that if you're working on backup plan. 

I put all my efforts into being an actor. I concentrated on nothing else. My other subjects were just distractions. I even dropped one lesson to put more effort into drama. A couple of years of acting taught me that it wasn;t for me. Do I regret not having a backup plan? No. There was nothing else I wanted to do at the time, so spending time nurturing a second career would have been hell for me. 

Now I'm a writer. I want to be a full-time writer so I give that all my focus. Do I have a backup plan? No. I have a day job but in my particular area, there is no career progression. So what happens if I decide I don't want to be a writer anymore? I'll just start on whatever I choose next and I'll give it everything I've got. Although, I doubt I'm going to quit writing. My point is, when you figure out what you really want to do you need to put everything you've got into it. Backup plans are just draining away your energy that can be better spent on your first plan. What do you think? Do you think backup plans are a good idea? Lete me know in the comments.  

Finding That One Thing That Makes Everything Else Irrelevant

I had a great writing session tonight. I was writing a scene for the 4th Arcane Inc. book. It's a massive action scene which involves Eddie being chased across Maidstone by an army of vampires. it's very James Bond style where it's just a ridiculous fight that spans the entire town. It wasn't the action that I had the most fun with, though. It was the moments when the fighting stopped and Eddie and Sebastian came face to face and exchanged words. Dialogue is my favourite part of writing, and for that matter reading too. I'd take a bit of dialogue over description any day.

I was having so much fun writing tonight that I did double my word count goal and I didn't take any more time than usual! I got completely lost in my work. Nothing distracted me. That is always a sign that you are doing the right thing, I think. That's how I know that writing is what I want to do for the rest of my life. It's the sort of thing I'll never retire from. I think everybody needs to find that one thing in their life that they can just disappear into. When you're doing that one thing nothing else exists. Time, people, bills, eating - it's all irrelevant. All that matters is the thing you're doing at that moment in time. That thing doesn't have to be work, it can be whatever makes you happy. Whatever it is for you, when you find it, you should pursue relentlessly.

Enjoy Your Job Or Quit!

That's a dramatic title. I think it would be less so without the exclamation mark. Titles are better dramatic, though, don't you think? I do and that's all that really matters because it's my blog. 

Anyway, to the point. I hear a lot of people on a lot of days saying how they can't wait to go home, or they can't wait for their day off, or they wish they'd picked a better career and I just think: well quit then. 

You might think that's naive of me to say. everyone needs a job, after all, they can't just quit. Let me explain. The average person spends most of their time at their job so if they spend all that time waiting for their day off then they're wasting their life. They should find a job that they enjoy doing. There is something out there that they love. It might be difficult to get a job in that field but that's not a reason not to try. Obviously there are exceptions. If you really want to be a swimmer but you've got no arms or legs then you should abandon that dream. But, if you are a shop assistant and you want to be a fashion designer you can make that happen. 

I guess what I get tired of is hearing people complaining about their situation but doing nothing to change it. "Life's dealt me a duff card" I hear people say. No. You dealt yourself a duff card. Your choices brought you to where you are today. Make better choices. It's never too late to start. Unless you're 90. It's too late if you're 90. 

I work in a lab. I won't give any more details because I've gotten into trouble for that before. I don't love working in that lab. Some days I'd rather not go there. I do like my job and I enjoy it, though. If I didn't I'd look for a different one. I certainly wouldn't spend 9 hours a day, 5 days a week doing something I hated. That's insanity What I really want to do is be a full-time writer because I love writing. So, naturally, I'm working on making that a thing. I write as much as I can, I publish books as often as I can. I research marketing and do everything I can to make it a reality. Obviously, there's no guarantee that I'll succeed but at least if I day a failed writer I can say I tried. This has been a bit of a rambling, preachy rant but the point is, if you're not happy with your life then try to fix it. Non-one's going to do it for you.