In my perfect world, the world I'd like to create for myself because I am an almighty god person who can mold her environment to her every whim, I get to spend all my work hours writing about things that mean something to me. And "all my work hours" cap out at about three or four hours a day. All the hours that come after that get to be spent picking cherries in a sunlit orchard or something. My time is mostly spent having adventures with my favorite people and taking care of my family, including one or two moderately well-behaved children. Living life, then turning around and writing about it.
What trips me up is what I think I need to get this life. As I dive into the How To Make Amber's Dream a Real World Thing, I enter an uncomfortable space. To get a book published you need x, where x = brilliant idea or ready-made audience of a hundred thousand or some unspecified brand of magic. To get an essay published somewhere people have heard of, you need to have a book published. To make money at any of this you have to be a wizard of many disciplines, and my brain has mastered only whimsy and baby animals. I build up insurmountable roadblocks in my head until I wind up going in aimless circles.
I don't have a clear roadmap and that makes me uncomfortable. Even with roadmaps, I tend to get lost. Even the omniscient voice of the GPS deity can't account for every variable and all it takes is one off-kilter message to send me twenty minutes out of my way on a ten minute trip.
What I want to do comes from a good place - writing brings me joy and helps me learn more about myself in the world. I want my writing to help me feel more love - for myself, my people, and the world; and I hope it does so for others as well. I want to transcribe my soul so that maybe people can learn to see theirs in a new way. It's a little grandiose, but hey, if you don't hand yourself a purpose, who will?
I don't like posting this. I don't feel comfortable saying, "I want to be published. I want to write books that sell to a lot of people. No, more people than that. Just go ahead and double the most outrageous number you can think of. That's what I want. So I can write a few hours a day and spend the rest of my time with my family." Because to this day - despite my belief that if you really want something, you have the capacity to get it, despite what I would say to anyone else who approached me with this problem - I still think, "Who am I to want that? Who am I to think about getting that, when so many other people want that too?"
When I think about Publishing and Audience Building and All The Things You Need To Make That Life Happen, I just want to open my closet door, arrange my shoes and sweaters into a nest, and curl up in the dark for a week or two. I stop writing and start focusing on what I think I need to do in order to write. Which doesn't make any sense.
So I have to trust. Trust that my work will find its people and its place. Trust that I can live the way I want to live and spend my time doing what I want to do. When I twist it up in my head because I don't know how to make it happen and spend my time worrying and not doing, I learn what trust is. Trusting that the path leads where I want it to go even though I don't know what that path looks like.
What I want is actually contained in a very simple process - create and share. Create and share. Write, finish, ship, repeat. No matter what the fear in my head sounds like, the answer remains the same. Meaning, the more I write and the less I tangle myself up in what it feels like I have to do, the happier I am. Because writing is all I ever wanted to do in the first place.