By day I work 60 hour weeks. At night I am a devoted father and husband to the world's greatest family. Somewhere in the non-existent time between the two, I am a writer. Join me from the beginning as I chronicle my adventures to become a successful published author.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Musings - Like Ariel, I want more - Day 34

*** Day 3 of the Contest is Today! Remember, each time you comment, you get an entry. Invite someone to follow and you get two entries. Contest ends Midnight on Friday! ***

Today I was driving with some co-workers through one of my favorite areas of Utah County, being the western rural area of Lehi. There's some great land that has been farmed for generations there, classic style homes, and space for everything I want in life: farm animals, crops, a wood shop, a pond, and generally a quiet home not too far from and not to near the major urban centers. Like Ariel in the Little Mermaid, I have various pretty things and even visits to the country, but I want more. I want to be there, to live that life, even at the cost of much of the conveniences of living in the city or suburbia.

More than anything, I want that rural life, enough to comfortably raise my family, teach the value of hard work to my kids, and still be able to find time to write in a beautiful setting. I know the country life isn't for everyone, but for my wife and I, it's our favorite dream. I might add it wouldn't make us in the least bit sad if it were in the southern US where there are quite a few less months of cold...

Becoming a successful, published author is thus both a means to the end and the end. I am in no way delusional enough to believe the chances are high that I can subsist off of writing, at least not until many books in print later. Certainly my blog and my constant efforts at improvement in marketing myself and improving my writing style, combined with a rigorous schedule help increase my probability of both publishing and financial success over time, but really, the reality is that I view my writing as three things:

1) Therapeutic. Since I started writing, I enjoy life so much more, even though I have less time. I find I am less stressed, I have joy in constant learning, and I simply love to craft a good story and see it progress.

2) When I become published, initial proceeds would go towards paying off whatever debts we may still have at that time. Even if it's only $500 of income in a year, it's that much less debt or that much more in savings.

3) When we have the land we want, writing income, even minor, assists in having multiple sources of income (assuming I  haven't hit the writing jackpot and have that dreamy early retirement wherein I can write all day or lay in the grass and it won't make a difference in paying the bills). Thus, I can live my dream of land and writing with far less pressure on either.

Ultimately then, I view my writing as relaxation now and in the future, even if it never makes me independently wealthy. As long as I can write and a few people love my stories, and doing so helps me to have a bit more time to write further, then I've found the perfect balance.

So for my readers, I pose a few questions: Why do you write? Where do you see writing in your future ideal life? And what is your ideal life?


I like the idea of a rural life. I doubt I'd like the reality. It takes a ton of work to maintain all the property. If you got a lot of kids you can enlist in the upkeep, that's not quite so bad as long as you can handle the whining. What I really wouldn't like is the commute. I did that for 4 1/2 years, when we first moved here. When I got my current job in the city where I reside, I picked up 20 hours a week (counting the 60 minutes of dead time at lunch--I took the bus since my employer seriously contributed to bus passes). I'd leave the house at 6:15 a.m. and get home at 5:55 p.m. (if there weren't any accidents). And I still made dinner every night.

I'd never have time to write if I had to commute, too. Now that the kiddles are all grown, I'm wanting to live somewhere that I don't have to do any yard work anymore. =D

But you're young, Matt. Hang onto those dreams.

Sounds like you've got it planned out!

Four years ago we moved to an acre of the most rural land this city girl has ever had. The best part is the ruralness around me without my doing all the work. The five acre horse lots around me provide the sense I want w/o going that direction myself. Perfect for an near empty nester.
After work on building our house ended, I hit writing hard and fell in love with it, enjoying two years of stay-at-home writing before my husband was laid-off. Makes me appreciate the time I get to spend on it.
That's probably more than you wanted to know.

Ahh, you and I both. I grew up on a farm and miss it desperately. Someday!

I write to stop the voices in my head! :)
I would feel lost if the story in my head wasnt put on paper.

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