Wouldn’t it be nice if we lived in a world where all our hard work always paid off? As in ALWAYS. I’d be a millionaire by now and so would a lot of my friends.
But working hard doesn’t always equal success. In fact, in most cases, it doesn’t.
First off, let’s give a base of what I consider hard work, or at least, give an account of how much work I personally do.
I probably work over sixty hours a week on writing and sewing (more so writing than sewing but sewing is a big part of my life as well, so I’m adding it into my creation process). This obviously varied when I had full-time jobs in the past, but it’s still pretty close. And when I worked full-time jobs, I’d focus mainly on writing. Sewing would definitely take a backseat at that point, though I still managed to find time to do a ton of it. After work, I’d come home and write, on weekends I’d write, even in the tiny pockets of break-time at work I’d write. And I’ve been doing it for almost thirty years. I have written over fifty screenplays, twenty teleplays and published seventeen novels (and that’s not counting the books I’ve written that will never see the light of day lol). As for sewing, hundreds of bags, tons of cosplay (for both me and my friends), pattern making, inventions, designs, re-creations, too many to count.
To be fair, I write and sew because I love it, there’s really no other explanation. I can’t say I’m doing it for the money, because, even with all that hard work and “product,” I still don’t make enough to live from it. I don’t even make enough to pay all my bills, hence why I’ve had many-o-jobs over the years that usually have nothing to do with writing or sewing.
So, what does this mean? Why do I work so hard with little to no pay-off? Is it because I secretly hope that one day the domino effect will happen and suddenly the money will start rolling in? Maybe. But thirty years (and for some people even longer) that’s a long time to be holding onto that hope. I’m an eternal optimist though, so I can’t deny that there is a part of me that believes that one day I will make a solid living with my writing and/or sewing. Am I delusional? Maybe. But this constant message we hear from creators and successful people that if you just work hard enough, you will succeed, is utter bull. I know extremely talented people in their seventies, that work harder than any successful creator out there, and they haven’t “made” it yet. But it doesn’t stop them from creating. It doesn’t stop them from trying.
I hope to never lose that drive, that hope, that optimism that all my dreams will come true someday. But in the meantime, I’m just enjoying the ride. Enjoying the stories and characters I create. Enjoying the insane bags I make for me and my friends.
I regret none of it.
Every single day, hour, minute, and second I dedicated to creating was worth it. Is worth it.
Does working hard equal monetary success? Sometimes. And that’s reality. Sometimes. And usually when you dig a little deeper, you’ll realize that the sometimes people had a lucky moment that propelled them into their success. It wasn’t only because they worked hard.
So, here’s to lucky breaks and future successes! And just remember that the road to get there may be a lot of hard work, but enjoy it, revel in it, because having the ability to create is a gift. Truly a gift.
And I for one, will always be eternally grateful for it.
I'm a writer of YA fiction, fiction, comics, television and movies. I try to make all my stories full of jumbly goodness :-)