I’m not in this to survive.
There are plenty of ways to survive.
If surviving were the end goal, writing would not be the way I’d go about getting to it.
There’s danger in getting wrapped up in the outcomes.
There’s also danger in making decisions reactively.
If you don’t have an end in mind, you get overwhelmed. You make decisions based on the biggest pressure right now.
This is a bad idea.
This method of decision-making will lead to bad decisions.
You don’t need to chase everything. You don’t want every opportunity: just the right ones. You only know which ones are right if you have an end in mind.
What’s the end you have in mind, for this particular season of your life? For your work? For your family, for your personal growth, for your life?
What are you looking for right now? What are you looking for in 10 years or 20?
Answering these questions will give you a clear picture of the end in mind.
Before you step into a new venture, a new work, a new creative outlet, figure out why. Save yourself time, money, and heartache. You might figure out a better method, dig in a bit deeper for a more direct route, instead of wasting time on something that doesn’t really fit with what you want.
You can have more than one end in mind.
Maybe your income has disappeared, and you need to survive while you figure out what else to do. Fine; set yourself up with a way to make some regular money, but don’t stop there and forget to think about the rest of your life.
Do you want to simply keep surviving, or do you want to move forward?
You want to move forward, right?
How do you want to do that?
Do you just want to find another good job and get back to doing the work you love?
Or are you secretly hoping that this is your chance, the impetus you need, to do what you really want to do?
So before you move forward, figure out the end you have in mind.
Get it clearly and firmly and specifically defined. Write it down. Ponder it. Reword it. Repeat it backward and forward. Does it fit? Can you sink your teeth into it? Can you explain it to your neighbor, your kid, your mother-in-law? Then you’ve got something. Focus on it. Build from it. Keep it front and center, because it will be the standard by which you make the rest of your decisions.