After a good week or two of being in a slump, I think I’ve escaped it. Thank God. I think I’m luckier than most in that I rarely lose my passion for whatever career/vocational goals I’ve set. Various personality tests describe whatever result I get as a seeker. If I don’t have some big goal to work toward, I feel completely empty, like there’s not much point to living at all. So I can’t express how relieved I am to have that passion back.
So. Where am I going? What am I doing?
I’m still very dedicated to writing dark erotic speculative fiction, but when it comes to what I want to do for money, I’ve decided to return to editing. Fiction editing. I also want to start building a foundation for teaching fiction.
I’ll, of course, take on other work if I have to, but fiction is what I want to focus on.
Why I’m Prioritizing My Biggest Dreams
If my recent experiences have driven home any point, it’s that failure isn’t the end of the world. It’s also shown me that my passion is more powerful than I imagined. I’ve been bombarded with so many messages for so long that practicality and tough-mindedness are the keys to success in life; passion is for children.
And I think for many people, this might be the case. They can take the safe job without decaying spiritually—at least, not enough to stop functioning. Not enough to quit. It’s also true that we can become more passionate about just about anything, even if we couldn’t care less about the topic or job at first. Mindset can do wonders. But however I’m wired, I just can’t seem to stick with things I don’t care about or that don’t align with who I see myself as. Nor can I seem to stick with them long enough to make myself passionate about them.
But it’s more than that: I can’t seem to let go of the dreams I was too cowardly to pursue, the dreams I wrote off as too hard to achieve. For so long, I believed I’d never be good enough to do what I actually wanted to do.
But since then, I’ve concluded that it doesn’t matter if I succeed or fail at achieving whatever goals I really want. I have an obligation to try. Really hard. For as long as it’s feasible to try.
Why? Because if I don’t, the ghosts of those abandoned dreams will haunt me and constantly take me off course from whatever consolation prize I’ve gone for instead. I’ll get these little bouts of hope, of maybe-I-can-do-its, and abandon whatever lackluster work I’ve settled for instead. Then fear or a lack of immediate results will make me say “what was I thinking?” before retreating to mediocrity again. Not anymore.
What I’m Focusing On Now
I want to pursue a career as a fiction editor. I was wicked good at giving feedback as a creative writing major—according to both fellow classmates and professors, who sometimes even pulled me aside at the end of a writing workshop to tell me as much. Writing and editing—fiction, writing, storytelling—is the thing I’m best at and, by far, most passionate about. Time to stop shying away from that. Time to stop telling myself that working at what I love is too good to be true and that I have to get my head out of the clouds.
I’ve spent ten years not getting anywhere working “practical” jobs. I think that’s enough time to declare that it’s time to try something different. And if I try my best at becoming a fiction editor, writer, and eventual creative writing teacher, and it doesn’t work out soon enough for me to pay the bills, then I’ll get another practical job. But knowing that I actually went for my dreams (and that they’re still there for me to pursue in the spaces of my day job) should allow me to push forth in a less distracted manner.