A portion of my writing head space is occupied with where I am on the career spectrum. Just how big a portion has changed over the years. In the beginning that slice of head space pie was huge. Ginormous. Because I didn’t have a career to speak of yet. As a newbie writer all I wanted was a writing credit and I was completely obsessed with the fact that I didn’t. On one hand that obsession was a good thing–it pushed me to learn about the genres, learn about the business, and spend inordinate amounts of time writing not-so-great prose. On the other hand, it fed a lot of jealousy and turmoil that I shouldn’t have been focusing on. Spending too much time worrying about not having a career basically ensures that you won’t have the career you want.
The opposite is true, too. Worrying about your place in the career spectrum less gives you more time to, you know, work on your career. This hit me in the nose yesterday as I took care of some writing business. I hardly think about where I am in my career track. Sure, I’d like to be further along–I’d love to have a few books on the shelf now–but for the most part I’m too busy writing to notice. I have three short stories to write for anthologies I’ve been invited to. I’ve got a book I’m rewriting that I hope to have done by November. I’m heading up the Origins Library next year and I’ve started laying the groundwork for that. At some point, without my noticing it, I got a writing career.
I just had to stay out of my own way enough to keep writing and make it happen.