With these hands


Throughout my working life I’ve held many jobs where I use my hands. I had one job for seven years as a sales manager which didn’t involve using my hands much at all, but other than that – I’ve trended towards physical labor. Perhaps it was my body type or even the nature of my upbringing in a blue collar family, but I always ended up doing labor work. With our move into the 21st century strictly labor jobs are still out there and I think they have a ton of value in doing them. Humans need to build things. Construct their palaces piece by piece until their vision is complete. That’s a bit of hyperbole but the general concept is true. I am much happier when I’m working.

If I go days without writing, I get fidgety, almost like my skin is crawling. I cannot stand going too many days or I’ll end up going crazy. As I’ve said before here, I consider it an incurable disease, and I would decline any cure anyone ever found. At the same time it fills me with happiness, which is why I consider it my life’s goal. I am lucky to have found it, but maybe it wasn’t luck at all. Maybe it was there waiting in the ether for me all along.

All this year I’ve concentrated on doing the hard work of writing one sentence. Then writing another, and another. This is what writing is at its core – working as often as you can at putting one muse inspired foot after another. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. It’s not reading every book on your bookshelf (although you should at some point), it isn’t going to every writer’s workshop you can afford (yet you should try to get to those you can) because the bottom line is you have to do the writing. Blogging and sitting on Twitter isn’t going to get your writing done, not to mention when you go down the digital rabbit hole it’s hard to come back out.

Work is a necessary part of life. I don’t call it a necessary evil, because we don’t live in a society where work has become obsolete. Work is good, hard work is even better. I learned more in my years in the trades than I ever did sitting at a school desk. Maybe that’s because I wasn’t paying close enough attention or staring off into space, but hands on work developed skills I didn’t have. So here’s what I’m going to suggest to you today. It’s not an easy road, maybe not a financially rewarding road, and it could leave you spent and empty inside when you’re done.

Find your passion. No matter how long it takes or how wild it sounds. Then once you’ve found it, latch onto it with both hands and refuse to let go.

The hardest part of all of this for me is the balancing game. Work, home life, the kids, and my passion. Any over emphasis on one brings one of the others out of balance, and that will eventually lead to some sort of blow back. I don’t know many full time writers personally. I follow several via social media and when that life arrives for me, their advice will help me attune my life to that new role. If your goal is to cut free the cords of a regular day job you’d better be prepared for it or the winds of change might find you going back for the steady paycheck.

I apologize for the shorten post this week, I’m busy writing the next novel you’ll end up reading. I have a ton of housework to get done before, plus build something with Emalee for the wedding in July. I have a feeling the next four months are going to feel like a mad dash to get seemingly unending amount of lists completed, but I know it will be worth all the hard work we put into it.

Addendum: I have an all new story coming for the players in my reoccurring Friday night game. It is back to the stars for all of us as we play in one of my favorite universes. This time things will be different.