Monday, June 11, 2012

Looking for the Answer in the Wrong Question

As regular readers of this blog know, I'm a little bit frustrated with my current line of work.  It's not specifically the job itself but the career path I seem to have chosen.  It's not a bad career path at all - in fact, it's allowed me to do many things I would not have otherwise done - but the older I get and the longer I'm in the field (this is my 15th year), the more trapped I feel.

One solution, of course, is to explore other options.  But this hasn't been the raging success I thought it would be either.  Times are tough all over - my industry is no different - and there are plenty of skilled people out there that are looking for work.  I also wonder in my heart of hearts if I've reached the level I'm going to reach - after all, I'm a non-industry professional in an industry of professionals.  At some point, perhaps explanations and rationalizations simply don't work as they used to.

Yesterday I had the unmitigated privilege of working again on my book - in this case, cover design and final drafting.  Cover design is a wonderful thing if you have the tools (and thanks to technology, even I have the tools to do it).  The day was only marred by a random error in file conversion I can't quite figure out -but this, too, will happen in time (and that time will pretty much be today!).

As I compared the two things in my mind this morning  - getting ready for the one while anticipating the other - I suddenly was hit by the thought that maybe the reason I'm not finding success in what I do is not the reason I thought it was.  Maybe it's that I'm looking for the answer in the wrong place.

Do not misconstrue what I'm saying - by no means do I believe that upon publishing my manuscript will become anything like a bestseller and I'll be able to quite my day job (nice to dream, of course, but let's be practical).  I'll simply be happy if I make back my investment.

But what it will do for me is twofold:  1) It will be the accomplishment of a long time goal; and 2)  if I sell one copy - one - I will have proved to myself that I can do it.  I can be a writer.  And more importantly, the time I invest in writing and creating books may very well be better spent than the time I spending looking for something else.

Maybe - possibly - the answer is not coming here because it is over somewhere else.

I'll keep working hard of course, and trying to improve my current career skills - after all, better the bird in hand.  But I also need to allow for the possibility that the answer I am seeking is not where I'm looking at all.  It may actually be behind me in the box I keep of the things I thought I could never do.

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