We are living in chatty times. I could spend all day, no lie, visiting the blogs and websites of people I know and saying, “Oooh-ahhhhh” or “Oh-no!”
I could kill the rest of the week on social media just trying to keep up with these same people.
But I can’t and I don’t, because I have a full day of paying work on my plate every single day of the week, and often more.
The reason I have paying work is because I have been working consistently at my skills and craft for fourteen years.
That’s after 4 years of a BA + 3 years of a MFA + 14 years working as a writer.
Naturally, I earn more now than I did in those first few years of my career. But please remember this was after an initial investment of $75K in my education.
Even so, my career and earnings did not really start to gain traction until 2004. That’s almost a decade after I completed my MFA coursework.
Today, almost a decade after my career started taking off, I am still not independently wealthy.
But I am the most satisfied writer I know. And I worry about nothing that is happening “out there.”
I say this because we spend way too much time, in my opinion, revering those who promise us quick profits.
Ask any writer you admire how they got where they are today and they will tell you: slowly and steadily.
My most profitable students do the exact same thing. They work for years for their success and once they have it, they own it.
There is always going to be the siren call of the biz, the breakouts, the bestsellers, etc. And that’s all nice, but I’m not sure it’s relevant.
So I want to say to you is this: you can talk or you can create.
Creating often means less talking and more focused work.
Some folks think that focused work always means isolation and closed-mindedness, but it doesn’t. And that’s ridiculous.
It’s the opposite. Your creative projects can be the path to the people you want to meet and the information and inspiration that will delight your whole life.
So, stop talking. Throw yourself into your creative projects.
Because creativity is the door to a better life for anyone who feels called to answer the call.
Shhhh, now. Get back to work.