If you’ve read my recent blog posts, you’ll know that I’ve been doing a 7-day ‘follow the joy’ exploration. As I went with the flow day after day, I found myself having a few important realizations. The most important one has been around fiction writing.
Unconsciously, I had been thinking about making a career out of fiction writing. Basically, I wanted it to become my means to earn my bread and butter.
Over the weekend, it dawned on me that I was putting way too much pressure on myself. I was approaching this the wrong way!
Here’s my stance now: I have decoupled writing fiction and making money at this point. I did a visualisation exercise on Sunday with my friend Sky and what came up was that I’d really like to write fiction…for the sake of writing it. With one simple motivation that I want to write it. Also, I feel like I’m taking baby steps with fiction writing right now. I want to allow myself space and freedom to just explore and write for the sake of writing. Just for the joy of it. No other expectations. If at some point that leads to something commercial, that’s great. But that’s not my end goal. I want to do it because I want to do it.
I now see myself as a student of fiction writing. An explorer. This is going to be the most amazing adventure of my life.
I want to immerse myself in learning the art of writing fiction. No, writing good fiction. Really soak it up…be the most ardent student. I’m going to do all that is in my power to show up, learn, and diligently practice. I’d like to watch myself go from an amateur to a pro. And have a rad time while I’m at it! There’s such a lot to be savoured in being a perpetual student and having a beginner’s mind at all times. To me, that’s when joy happens. That’s when Big Magic happens, as Liz Gilbert would call it. This thought is strangely freeing. Strange because this sense of freedom stems from the thought of lifelong commitment to a particular craft. What makes this endevour truly sacrosanct for me is that I’m doing this not because I expect anything from it. But just for the sheer joy of it. Like the mother who sees the reason for her very existence reflected in the countenance of her offspring that she holds in her arms for the first time.
I’m ready to put in those 10,000 hours of deliberate practice. I’m ready to give over myself – mind, heart, body, and soul – to the art of writing. I feel a sense of sacredness, deep commitment, and utter elation. I’m feeling so moved right now that I’m seriously considering getting a tattoo to mark this moment. Seal the pact by burning it into my skin.