You’ve decided this writing gig is for you, whether its novels, short stories, web content or blogs, there will still be sacrifices. Maybe you’re even lucky enough to work from home, in the lap of luxury, and no time clock to punch—there will still be sacrifices.
Everything we want in life requires a sacrifice or two—this is nothing new. Every article you’ve read about being successful and making things happen has told you you’ll need to make some sacrifices. I’m not going to tell you that.
What I’m going to tell you is . . . be careful with the things you sacrifice. Make damn certain the sacrifice is worth what you get in return. Sacrifice often leads to resentment, whether it’s yours or someone else’s.
Spending extra time in your back office away from the family will often be inevitable, but family time isn’t something that needs to be sacrificed to the hilt—if overdone, it will cause resentment. Family members will begin to hate your work or your business. What started as eyes full of diamonds and thoughts of gold mines will soon turn sour. Money is never more important than the relationship with your family. Find a happy balance that everyone can live with.
Giving up fun gigs for better paying gigs. I’m not saying you shouldn’t take better writing gigs and expect more money as your online presence grows, but don’t give up a small gig that you really love just for a few extra bucks. You’ll end up resenting yourself. Writing is hard work and not all of it is fun and glory, so don’t give up a gig you truly enjoy for one that’s going to feel like working on a chain gang. It’s just not worth it.
Be aware of personal sacrifices. One of the sacrifices I always make (and often regret) is my own personal writing. One look at my blog will tell you that my personal stuff gets put on hold. Of course, I was never tying to win a popularity contest with it, but it could be higher in rankings than it is—if I didn’t sacrifice it for the good of others. Another one of my personal sacrifices is fiction writing. It always takes the back seat. But with the start of NaNoWriMo this year, I’ve done a lot of soul searching on that one and decided it’s not worth giving up anymore. The jury is still out on the blog situation.
Be aware of sacrificing friends. This one often relates back more to Time Management than it does to work for most of us, but they still get sacrificed. We send out less jokes, comments and emails. They say they understand—but do they really? And this may seem a bit contradictory to the time management suggestion of spending less time in email. Again, you have to find a happy balance—maybe spend one day a week emailing friends instead of daily.
Another personal favorite of mine, and one I don’t regret at this time, is the dining room table. How many of you have set up office at the dining room table? I’m guilty. This one is usually a temporary solution, but it can lead to frustration. Luckily, my husband doesn’t mind—of course he goes to the “office” that I’ve allowed him to take over, so he doesn’t hang around and see all of my paper work—except when he’s eating. It doesn’t hurt that I’m a good cook either; it distracts from all the post-it notes and office supplies that now consumes half of our table.
Some things should never be sacrificed—like good coffee and fine chocolates. These are synonymous with being a writer and I enjoy mine very much. If you’re one of those who prefers a soda and Danish, by all means, don’t give up your special treat just to get a few more words in.
I know I’ve taken a light-hearted approach at something that can be very serious. On the one hand, you need to spend as much time as possible growing your business or blog. On the other hand, there are still other things in life that are just as important. Be careful what you sacrifice. Having regrets at some point down the road is never worth it and it stifles your growth, in more ways than one.
If you have any thoughts or comments on the matter, please share with us.