If there’s one thing indie writers have in common, it’s passion. Although we live in a time when making a living as a writer is more possible than ever, it still isn’t an undertaking for the faint of heart. Dedication is needed, work ethic is needed—passion is needed. And yet, passion brings with it dangers of its own, made all the more insidious by the fact that they are caused by the very thing we need most to succeed. So, with that in mind, how can passion endanger your writing career?
Have you ever wondered how people get sucked into ridiculous scams that promise to fulfill their every dream? It’s because they wanted the promised thing so badly that they were willing to overlook obvious red flags. This happens to writers every day. They want so badly to achieve their dreams of selling books that they will shell out hundreds or, in some cases, thousands of dollars to unknown sources that promise them untold sales. Often, the unscrupulous vendor has no intention of following through on that promise and, if they do, it is frequently accomplished through shady practices that then puts the author’s publishing account (and therefore their livelihood), in jeopardy. Generally, the author has no idea that the methods are against anyone’s terms of service, but yet they end up paying the price for not doing their homework. They were blinded by their passion.
One thing writers, especially indie writers, are absolutely horrible at doing is practicing self-care. We are driven by our desire to see our words in print, goaded on by, yes, our passion. We fret about lost time, and the numbers of unwritten words taunt us whenever we consider ourselves having wasted valuable time. Yet, when working for oneself, it is vitally important to know when to tap the brakes just a bit. Taking an afternoon off or treating your significant other to a date night will not destroy your productivity. In fact, it may increase what you are able to accomplish when next you approach your writing space.
Our drive to create often pushes us into self-imposed exile. Writing is, generally, a solitary endeavor, and this by definition excludes those closest to us. Yet, at the same time, we need the support of those individuals as we climb the mountain of indie success. While our passion continually dogs our steps, it’s important to take time to recognize the contributions of those who show patience with us and insist on supporting their resident writer in times good and bad. Shut them out, and we risk dampening this enthusiasm. Not because they no longer love us, but because they are beginning to feel insignificant or taken for granted.
Passion is a required ingredient for success in the indie arena but brings with it genuine pitfalls. Learn to harness that natural passion and your potential will recognize no limitations.
Steve wants to leave his old life behind, the life of killing and waiting to be killed. But when it's the family business, it can be a hard habit to break.