Monday, October 26, 2015

If I Was Braver

If I was braver, I would quit my job and completely immerse myself in writing.

It’s not that I hate my job; I don’t. I rather like the people I work with and it gives me a chance to use my degree. In fact, I get paid to write, and that’s awesome, but it’s not what I want to write; they’re assignments. Sure, I have some freedom in deciding topics, and I usually learn something new and fascinating with each assignment, but there’s also a rigidity to it.

To be able to write what I want to write when I want to write it and have it pay would be amazing. To be able to pay my bills with this type of writing would be phenomenal. At the moment, with a full-time job and a family to take care of, I squeeze writing in when I can. It’s not a terrible way to live my life, I still get my writing done, but I’m curious what I would be capable of doing if writing for enjoyment was my sole focus.

If I was braver, I would travel more, get myself out to more of the world.

In addition to throwing myself completely into writing, I would also dedicate more time to promotion. I do what I can now, as my schedule permits, but I would love to be able to do so much more. I would love to share my ideas with more people, and I would love to be inspired by their ideas and thoughts. I love doing workshops and presentations and attending conferences, and if I had time, I would do more.

If I was braver, I would spend more time helping out my fellow writers.

I love editing. It’s part of my professional expertise. I love being able to help other writers make their stories better. I also love being able to read stories that the vast majority of the world hasn’t seen yet. It’s magical.

I read articles all the time about how great authors—Piers Anthony, Stephen King, and J.K. Rowling, to name a few—were willing and able to give up security to follow their dreams. I’ve read about their hardships and struggles and how they were on the verge of destitution before finally making it big, and I both envy them and question why they did it.

I’m too afraid to take that leap. I worry too much about what my kids won’t have if I give up my steady, paying job. It scares me to think we’d be living on the street and not in comfort, that we might not know where our next meal is coming from, and that stops me from taking that next step.

It frightens me to think that I will never reach the fame and notoriety that these other authors have achieved, and that it could be because I wasn’t willing to try. At the same time, I also think that the world is saturated with writers, and I am just one among many. How could I possibly hope to stand out? That thought stops me from trying.

I already make sacrifices to make achievements in my writing, and I know that it takes hard work and determination to achieve my dreams, but I always wonder what more I could accomplish if I gave up more.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I would do with my life if I wasn’t so afraid, and the thoughts are both encouraging and distressing. I am nothing without my dreams, and those help keep me moving, but there comes a point when I have to be willing and able to do more. I have to continue to push my boundaries and try new things. I may not always be successful, but I can learn from the failure.

However, I have found that there are only so many boundaries I’m willing to push. I absolutely use my fear as an excuse, and I will continue to do so. I may never find my bravery, and that scares me too.

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