I've seen some of my friends and some of my co-workers a bit discouraged lately. I thought I'd share how I changed my outlook by simply changing the labels I put on myself.
I have a writing "career". I have a "job" working in retail hell. Those two terms help me separate them in my brain. Let me explain how this keeps me mildly sane.
I have worked at the same place for over a decade. They pay me, and I have put in enough time there that I have accrued some perks. But I don't love it there. I don't feel like I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing.
I am the type of person who firmly believes that we have a path we are destined to follow. I feel like I'm on that path when I'm writing. Don't get me wrong. I don't think I will ever feel like I'm an old pro at this writing gig. There are always changing trends, changing sales practices, and if anyone tells you they know exactly where the technology associated with the ebook revolution is going...well I will call them a liar to their face.
We are all trying to keep up as the publishing world changes and grows. I've been reading ebooks since 2009, and I know I was nowhere near being a part of the the initial wave of ereaders. Even in these past five years, I have seen so much change in the publishing world. I can't imagine where we will be in a decade. I'm just fastening my seatbelt and grabbing some popcorn as I go along for the ride.
I have only been a published author for a year, but I know in my heart that this is my career. This is my path. Unfortunately my mortgage company could give a rat's ass that my job that pays me money isn't where my heart is. And really, if I'm honest, even my heart wants WiFi.
Therefore I must endure the evil day job. I have had to turn on my "customer service smile" (anyone who has worked in retail knows this smile). I've gone to work the day after book release day. Feeling that new book high is sharply contrasted when someone talks down to you like you are dirt because you are in a service industry.
I was going a little nuts and losing heart, but then I decided I'm done labeling myself as a peon. I am a published author. No one can take that away from me. And next year I get to touch a real paper book with my name on it.
This is my career. This is how I define myself. I changed my social media to reflect that I'm an author. It felt awesome. It might not pay the bills yet, but that's what my job is for.
Whenever someone looks down their nose at me, I remind myself I am just doing a job. I am doing a job that lets me embrace my career.
|If you work in Retail, you appreciate Retail Robin as much as I do.|
Sometimes it gets to me. I'm not going to lie. BUT...I'm working towards a career that I have already taken the first steps towards.
This career is a roller coaster. The highs of a great review are definitely punctuated with the lows of the Library Journal hating your book. You'll get a reader contacting you and asking for more and the same day you'll find out that there is a twitter account dedicated to your undoing.
Roller coaster or not, I plan on pulling the safety bar across my lap and asking for another ride. Because this is my career. Maybe someday I'll be able to write those pesky mortgage checks from book sales. Maybe I'll be able to do more than that. Who knows.
Right now...I'm working towards the career I want. Right now I'm putting words on paper, because right now is pretty darn amazing.
I have a career as a published author. My job...eh...let's call that research.