Sunday, October 13, 2013

Career Planning, or Sailing Blind

© Krzysztof Ostoja-helczynski | Dreamstime Stock Photos
In the day job, there are supervisions and appraisals. Evaluations and training needs assessments. Recently I've been looking at coporate, team and personal goals. Short, medium and long term. I can look at strategies, plans and peg my own aspirations to them. I can work with my line manager, area manager and team to set realistic, appropriate goals. Beyond that, I can career plan and set where I want to be in a few years' time.

 I feel the need for some writing career planning, but who do I work with? I need direction and an action plan.

"Are you okay, you look sad," asked Husband the other day. I wasn't sad, precisely, just preoccupied with trying to work out something I didn't appear to be able to work out... I couldn't figure out what to do and how to get there.

Yes, I know I could just write, but I feel like that old adage, "if one does not know for which port one is sailing, no wind is favourable." I've had a long break from writing seriously, and my writing confidence has suffered and I no longer know for sure what I can do.

Should I finish the big blockbuster or the abandoned Third Book? Should I try something completely different, or turn my attention to short stories? I feel like I can't afford to get this wrong, but have no idea how to work through it to get it right.

But maybe - unpalateable thought - there is no right or wrong thing and everything must take its chance.

But, man, I need a plan.


  1. It's easy to say you should follow your heart, but in writing I really believe that's the answer. There are always so many "possibles"-- so many stories to choose between -- and the only thing I can advise is to try to choose the one that matters most to you. The one that, if you were to be flattened by a bus tomorrow, you'd regret NOT having written.

    Sometimes the best way to figure out the story you should write next is to meet a friend for wine (what else?) and describe all the various ideas to her/him. I did this recently, when I had two "possibles" and couldn't decide between them.

    The woman I was lunching with said instantly I ought to go with Story #2. "When you talk about the first one," she observed, "it's more of an intellectual exercise. But the second idea just makes you light up. THAT's the one you should write."

    You could try this? Or maybe, as all of us do when in doubt, just call Julie. :-)

  2. LOL! Yes, I did 'call' Julie. Thanks Susanna, you're so right. The only thing is, my writing muscles are so unfit, I feel the need of doing some training before I run the big one, so to speak (can I mix any more metaphors on this subject?!) so the plan is to finish the Third Book first, accept I probably won't submit it anywhere, and then tackle the one that's much harder, much bigger, but MATTERS so much more.

  3. Oh, wow. I just managed to comment as myself, not anon! That's the first time that's worked in years!

  4. Sounds like a good plan to me, Anna! :-) xx