People often say they envy my career. I admit that I love, I mean LOVE what I do. Writing and speaking is purely passion driven. Knowing that what I do helps so many people is especially rewarding. People see it as glamorous and fun, especially since I wear two distinctive hats with a few smaller caps interspersed. Writing as a music journalist gets me invited to parties and I interview very interesting people for my books. For one, I had the pleasure of doing a phone interview with country singer Clint Black. He is a doll and it was fun hearing his kids playing in the background. ?
My hats switch often. Each time the phone rings, I never know what it might bring. Will it be a musician with a question? Someone calling to get help from me to write their book? Oprah’s producer for a return appearance? An editor? So I guess I understand why most people think I live an exciting life. It is a lovely existence on many levels. But the most important one is that I get to do what I want, how I want, in the way I want—most of the time. Passion is what drives the direction!
I see me as living as everyone should—by your passions and faith. Yet with all the wonderful things I love about my career, I doubt most people could live the way I do.
Pursing a freelance creative career can be erratic. There can be long periods of 14-hour days with no let up, rejection, waiting to see what publisher, if any, will sign my next book, then waiting a ridiculously long time for the contract and ultimately an advance check. Then there are the dry spells when nothing percolates an income and my rent is still due. There’s a lot of uncertainty in being a freelancer. It can give a person serious stress, worrying about having enough work to make enough money to pay bills and live a comfortable lifestyle. I’ve challenged people about whether they could hang in like I do when uncertainty goes on for a while.
Yet faith keeps me strong, relaxed and confident that it will all work out.
I haven’t met many people who have the level of faith I do. I always believe that everything will work out and rarely get stressed. During dry spells, I put it out that I’m expecting income earning situations and unusually large royalty checks for my books. I’ve even turned down work for good money when I had nothing coming in because it wasn’t something I wanted to do. Then I say, ”Close one door and another one opens” instead of thinking “Oh my goodness! What have I done?” And ya know what? Something better ALWAYS materializes! ALWAYS!
Strong faith keeps us tough enough to go the distance. Without mine, I’d still be teaching, complaining about boredom and still have at least one foot still in DoorMatville. Instead, I have the best career I can ask for! ?
People tend to quit when the going gets rough. School gets too hard and she drops out or switches to a less stimulating major that’s easier. A married couple that still loves each other gets divorced because it’s too hard to try to work out the wrinkles. He gives up his dream of having a business and gets a job to have security. The band breaks up because it’s too hard or takes too long to develop the fan base needed to get a career going. She gives up trying to get to the next level of weight lifting because it’s too hard and taking too long. He stops trying to get an agent for his screenplay since he’s tired of the draft from doors shutting.
Think before you stop pursuing something you want. When you stop, the dream is over!
My career isn’t a party. It’s not all fun and games. I have to seriously believe in my ability to keep going. Luckily, I do! It took a while to find my first literary agent. And even a longer to get my first book deal. The book was rejected by everyone, according to that agent. But I wanted to write The Real Deal: How to get Signed to a Record Label and knew musicians needed the info in it. So I put it out that I expected a deal and continued writing and speaking like I already had one. My agent didn’t get me my deal with Billboard. My persistence led me to meet the senior editor who signed me!
Since then I’ve been through several agents. None of my personal growth books have sold easily. But they did sell. All eventually good deals! But I had to stay in the game for that to happen.
Lance Armstrong said, “Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”
If I hadn’t hung in for The Real Deal, I might never have gotten any book deals since I’d have probably quit. I had to leave my agent when she couldn’t sell my second book, yet I found another one who believed in it and got me a really good deal for it. I might still be an unhappy schoolteacher if I hadn’t persevered. As Armstrong said, quitting is forever. I don’t want to lose my dreams and ditch my goals forever. Once you quit, it’s hard to go back.
The tough stuff really is temporary, if you keep going. Decide how badly you want whatever you’re going after. If you’re thinking about quitting on your dream, ask yourself:
* Is this something I’m passionate about?
* What will I lose by persevering?
* What will I lose by quitting?
* Will I be happier if I give up my dream?
* How bad is what I’m doing and what negative effect does it have on me?
* Can I handle it for a while longer?
* How will I feel if I give up my dream?
Sometimes when you’re caught in the moment, it’s harder to think rationally about whether or not you should stay in the game. Step back from it. Ask those questions. Then decide if it’s worth it to quit or if it’s worth it to continue. Sometimes you might not want a goal badly enough, and that’s OK. But if you do, buckle down and hang in. It may take a while but if this former DoorMat could reinvent herself so amazingly, you can too! Tap into your spiritual support, because it’s there waiting for you. Then enjoy the ride!