See, as some of you might know, I was unemployed while I wrote A Hidden Fire, This Same Earth, and outlined the rest of the Elemental Mysteries. I was applying for technical writing jobs, copywriting jobs, editing jobs, and no one was interested. It was a hard time in the economy and most businesses were cutting back.
Naturally, I signed up for one of those online resume services (in this case Monster.com) to help me look. And every Thursday, they would email me a list of positions that had opened up in my area. And every week I would apply. And I got maybe… four calls in all the months that I was doing that.
But of course, I kept writing. In fact, it was only the month before A Hidden Fire came out that my unemployment insurance completely ran out. It was pretty tight for my ex and I, but we managed.
I would have loved if my very first book hit big and soared to the top of the bestseller lists and answered all my problems, but that didn’t happen. It rarely does. Still, I kept writing, kept publishing, and in less than a year, I had published five books and was making a living from my writing.
Mind-boggling success from my perspective.
A lot has changed about my life since then. Finances are more comfortable. I own my own home. I have a pretty consistent reader base who look forward to my books. These are all very real dreams come true for me.
But every Thursday, Monster.com still emails me a list of technical writing jobs. And I take a moment, look it over, and appreciate what I have and how far I’ve come. I remember how lucky I am to do this job and how much work it took to get here. Then I delete it. And that’s my nod to the monster.
Life can change very quickly. For good. For bad. Nothing is certain. I could wake up tomorrow and find out everyone has stopped buying my books. I don’t think that will happen, but it could. It’s possible. And if that happened, I’d pick things up, scowl at the new monster, and figure out a way to beat it.
Don’t hide from the monster. That’s when it will bite you hardest. And don’t forget that life changes. Whether you’re in a good place or a bad.
Nod at your monster and move forward.