Hello again, and thanks for coming back (or visiting for the first time). I still find this somewhat strange, as I think of what to write and wonder why anyone would read it. But, I enjoy it, and it’s been good practice to write this weekly. I got my first rejection letter last week, and sent out another query. At least the first one is out of the way. I’m also working towards a few other project ideas that I had when I left Whole Foods, trying to get those up and running. I find myself entertaining different jobs as they come up, as there are no guarantees as to when (or even if) I could make a sustainable living piecing everything that I’m trying out together. As I do all of this, I watch my windows of time to actually sit down and simply write dwindle, and as I am starting a second book, I’m reminded of how I managed to write while I had a demanding full-time job.
When I left Whole Foods, I told them (along with everyone else) that I had written a book, positioned myself to take some time to finish it and make a go of that along with other endeavors, and that I did not have anything concrete lined up. The first question that I expected from everyone was, “Are you crazy?” The first question that most people actually asked was, “When did you find time to write a book?” Not having prepared an answer for that one, I politely smiled and shrugged my shoulders with an answer of, “when I could.”
As I mentioned in a previous post, working as part of the regional office involved crazy schedules at times. When we opened remote stores, it was not uncommon to be on the road for the better part of 4 to 6 weeks, with a day or two at home here and there in-between. 12 to 16 hour days were also a part of the routine, and even when working a “normal” week at the office, I often put in long hours. Longer than the standard, anyhow. The true answer as to how I found time? Sometimes, I lied. To my friends. To my family. Sorry, I know that you are just finding out now if you are reading this. But yes, I sometimes told a half lie and said that I was working. I missed parties. I missed get-togethers. I missed a lot of things that I really did want to do.
Why did I lie? Because the same can be said for many things that people see as “hobbies”. If you don’t say that you are working and make the time, then it’s easy for well-intentioned folks to tell you that, “you can write tomorrow”. Or, “just come out for a little bit and write when you get home”. And, if you bite, it’s easy for you to start to believe it as well. Well, easy for me, anyhow. I had to treat writing like it was part of my job, so that I would always approach it that way, not just as a “hobby”. If I’m sitting in this chair, then I’m working. Not having a few drinks while I write, not popping in and out, but actually working until I’m done for the day. I would offer the same advice to anyone who is always told to put off something that they are working on outside of their job that they are incredibly passionate about. When people ask, tell them that you’re working. Because you are – just on something that you want to. As I continue to expand the projects on which I am working, I have to remind myself to build them around what I set out to do. If I don’t, then I’m just a fool that quit a decent job.
The same can be said for exercise, but unfortunately I dropped the discipline for that and replaced it with writing (something to be said about balance there, I suppose). As I said in my last post, I would share the results of my starting point as an exercise in putting myself out there. Given how I feel and the extra weight that I’m carrying, I was expecting to hear that I was near death when I walked in to see the Doctor this past Tuesday (or at least setting myself up for a heart attack at 40). The good news is; my numbers are better overall than they were the last time I had them checked. Even with the extra 35 lbs. Everything is in the “normal” range as far as blood work goes, albeit slightly on the higher end of normal for Blood Pressure and Triglycerides. So, my starting point is 289 lbs. Although it’s not so muuch about the number as it is about just being healthier and how I feel, the number is a tangible measure. As are the photos that I took. Let’s see where I go from here!
One last thing – if you enjoy reading, please sign up for email updates! Part of writing this blog is to start building a “Platform”, or social media presence. Somehow, publishing has come to a point where they want you to have an audience (or at least a modest following), before you ever publish a single page. Backwards as it may seem, I guess I’m playing the game. Thank you!