I've been meaning to post something, but I've been busy...thinking...
I have a confession to make: I'm doing okay as a writer.
There, I've said it - I feel better.
That's not classic British underplay and it's based upon my expectations of being a writer (i.e not based upon money or any other external factor that I can't directly control). I'm coming up with new ideas, I'm writing and I'm editing. Most importantly, I'm enjoying the ride for its own sake. I meet other writers, swap experiences and pick up tips. It's all pretty ticketty-boo.
I have ebooks that are finding new readers, I have a self-published paperback that has been well received so far, and most of my writing jobs are about things I actually want to write about. The agents and publishers that I've submitted material to were carefully chosen. The edit of my fourth novel, Scars & Stripes, is progressing steadily.
I used to view the writing arena as a series of league tables (much like the ones you used to get with Shoot magazine). And I saw myself in one of the lower leagues - not quite a Sunday team, but definitely an aspiring amateur side. A few things happened last year to render that view obsolete.
I learned how straightforward it can be to self-publish a novel as both an ebook (I used Kindle Select) and a paperback (I used Lightning Source). Pretty much anyone can do it.
I got a regular feature-writing slot, largely through my portfolio and track record.
I got paid £200 for a short story.
I know: yay me.
My point is that sometimes you realise the struggle is either inside your own head, or not really a struggle at all - because you have no leverage or influence over it. You need to know what to focus on, and I find a useful criterion is whether it's something I can personally change. As my mum used to say, "Eat what you can and what you eat, leave."
Or, as I'd frame it:
"Let go of your construct of yourself and find out who you really are."
*It is if you have our cooker's clock.