The career path of a writer is anything but a straight line.
Creative obstacles arise, of course. Then there’s the challenge of finding the optimal time to write among life commitments, day jobs, and metaphysical questions such as, “What kind of person am I supposed to be?”
Recently my friend Joe admitted that, when I have difficulty finding my way through the woods, he and his wife aren’t worried about me.
“The thing is,” he said, “we know you can be anything you want. Tomorrow you could decide to be a lawyer and be great at it. Or you go into business you’ll succeed there as well.”
Gratitude to Joe aside, I’ve known for a while that I have talents in multiple fields. However, I get bored easily. I learn tasks quickly, perform them well, then know I can’t do this one thing for the rest of my life.
For example, I’m taking an accounting class to improve my bookkeeping. I am positive that I will use these skills forever, but I doubt I’ll seek employment solely as an accountant. I wouldn’t have the 100% vocational conviction to be the best bookkeeper possible. Being good at something is not the same as being great, and the 100% factor is my litmus test for many life decisions.
Rather, I enjoy acquiring new knowledge to add additional arrows to my quiver. Every piece of information also creates another target for my writing.
That’s when it hit me. One way I have never thought of my career conundrum is that writing never bores me.
This statement is more profound than it seems, so let me say it again:
The craft is difficult, sometimes excruciatingly so, but I have never been bored by the process. I’ve written uninteresting things, for sure. I just scrap those pages when they show up.
People say your life’s ambition should be the task you would happily perform for free. One way to test this maxim is to choose the ambition that does not bore you. For me, writing is the only activity that has continually kept the attention of my easily restless self.
That’s a good sign.