It’s important, from time to time, to stop and do a self-assessment of the direction your life is taking: personally, professionally, spiritually. Are you investing your resources in the areas that you really want to? Are you making progress toward the goals you set six months ago? A year ago? Five years ago? The past month has been such a time for me.
This month will mark three years since Maiden of Pain was published. I should be four years into my five year plan. Instead, I’ve spent the last two years developing a multiplayer, turn-based strategy Flash game, and the only fantasy fiction story I got published was in a non-professional market.
Something’s not right with this picture.
Why I write
The first question to ask when trying to get back on track is why that track is better than the one you’re on. Writing is the best track for me because:
- I’m a better writer than a project manager.
- Writing is less of a financial burden than publishing a game.
- My skill set allows me to complete a manuscript without dependence upon someone else.
- I like to create with words.
Why I write fantasy fiction
There are lots of different types of writing, and I don’t find all of them satisfying. My experience as a technical writer has been an exercise in frustration and disillusionment. I like blogging, writing non-fiction articles, and have occasional ideas for non-genre stories. But my real passion is fantasy fiction. Those kind of stories come unbidden into my head, begging to be written.
It’s not easy for me to articulate why fantasy fiction is so appealing to me as a writer. I enjoy depicting the struggle of good against evil and building new worlds that lack the trappings of modern (or even futuristic) life. Perhaps it’s the fact that these stories could never happen to me, yet I want to experience them, that draws me so.
I can definitely tell you why I don’t write fantasy fiction: money. There are much more profitable kinds of writing.
Knowing is only half the battle
The information gleaned from a self-assessment is only valuable if you act upon it. Here are my action items:
- Finish production of Eternal Warlords: Arena (no, I’m not going to abandon it), but delay any future plans for game development.
- Post new blog articles three times a week. For now, the schedule will be Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
- Devote at least two hours a night, four times a week, to writing fantasy fiction for a professional market. Shattered Amulet will be my primary project, “Relvan’s Rescue” (and other Janner Kohl stories after) comes second. My webcomic project is third.
Are you doing what you like to do? Or are you on the wrong track? Why do you do what you do? Perform a little self-assessment in the comments.