by Lillian Csernica on May 16, 2013
Day 16: Something difficult about your “lot in life” and how you’re working to overcome it
If you read yesterday’s entry, Controlled Chaos, you already know I have a long list of difficulties that I work to overcome every single day of my strange life. Let me make a quick list of the particular difficulties that spring immediately to mind:
Getting my autistic fourteen year old son to stop being a total pig-headed brat about homework, chores, respecting his brother’s needs, and respecting the adults in the house.
Making enough time for my writing and then making myself actually do the work.
My marriage. Don’t even get me started on that.
Given that I am besieged on a daily basis by a number of problems that most “normal” people never encounter, which of these shall I choose for public rumination? I talked a lot about the boys yesterday, so today I’ll focus on writing. Difficulty: completing my novel edit by the end of the month.
What do I need? Motivation. Self-discipline. A strong sense of story. A keen eye for what does not need to be there. The ability to refuse distraction.
What it all comes down to is commitment. Am I committed to the completion of this novel? Am I committed to the larger goal of making career progress as a writer?
The answer is yes. I’ll tell you what keeps me trying to make that commitment again and again every day. I don’t want to be famous. I want to be successful enough to make the kind of money I need to build a house where Michael can live for the rest of his life, even after I’m gone. Janet Evanovich made something like eighteen million dollars last year. Dan Brown made hundreds of millions. I know we’re talking long odds, that only a few writers ever make it to that level, but that’s my goal. My self-defense teacher, a female Sheriff’s Deputy, taught me to always aim three inches beyond the target. That way the force of my energy does not stop at the target but pushes on through.
To be a successful novelist, to make the kind of money I need to finance a custom-built house for Michael, I must aim three inches beyond my target, and do that every day.