We’ve all had that thought.
“Once I’m done with the book I’m writing, I’ll finally be able to relax.”
“Once I submit this proposal, I’ll be able to breathe again.”
“As soon as this round of blog posts is finished, things will get much easier.”
But you won’t. You won’t. And they don’t.
The same goes for finding any kind of success in writing. You think all your problems will be solved as soon as you hit a major milestone, when in reality, writing is something that will be ongoing for as long as you keep doing it.
Don’t do the work with the hope of one day being able to stop or even slow down. Because there’s always the possibility you won’t have that luxury, ever. And THAT creates room for you to burn yourself out trying to reach an end that may never come.
And you don’t want to do that. You don’t want to exhaust your potential before it has the chance to change your life.
The truth is, writing is hard. And it stays hard. If you’re good at what you do — and truly passionate about getting better — you will always seek out or stumble upon new challenges and growth opportunities. You will always lose one source of motivation, only to find inspiration in something new in the process.
You will always doubt yourself, only to remember why you always manage to pick yourself back up again.
But you will always, no matter what, have to continue doing the work.
Unless you’re OK with a one-and-done kind of life, guess what? As soon as you write and sell one book, if you want to continue making money … you have to write another one. And the cycle repeats again. And again. And again.
If that fills you with a crippling sense of dread — the thought that you can’t just write one thing and be successful, but instead have to write MANY THINGS — writing may not be the right career path for you.
The work does not stop. It will never stop. But this is a good thing.
It teaches you discipline and trains you to be persistent. It allows you to spend more time doing something you — hopefully — love to do.
If you’re serious about writing, just know what you’re diving into before you approach the edge. Your greatest efforts will always follow up with more. Your most significant sacrifices will always lead to more sacrifices, eventually.
But it’s worth it, if you want to Make It. And it’s worth it, if you want to continue Making It.
Whatever Making It means to you, I hope you’ll find the drive, the enthusiasm, the desire, to keep pushing forward day after day. Because even though it won’t always be easy, every effort always comes with a reward. Or it will, someday.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.