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Welcome to Monday Motivation – A blue-collar work ethic
This week I traveled to Detroit Michigan to attend my grandfather’s funeral. Yes, it has been quite the season for me and my family. The night after the funeral, I sat on the couch with my grandmother. We talked a lot about life and my grandfather. She told me stories I had never heard. One of them I want to share with you.
When my grandfather was a young man with a young family, money was tight. My grandfather, to make ends meet, worked two eight-hour jobs. So, he’d wake up early in the morning, work a full day, come home to change clothes and eat a solid meal, and then set out again to work an eight-hour shift at another job. At the end of the day, he’d come home, collapse, and do it all over again.
The story made me think about the writing life because there are many times when you are going to need the same work ethic to make your writing ends meet. You might work a full-time job, have a family, friends, a spouse—all of the fixings of life.
And yet, writing is going to have to be the second job to go to.
For many of us, working while writing is the norm. We aren’t best-selling authors yet, and so we need to find a way to put food on the table, yet often the way we support ourselves is not as satisfying as writing. I’ve lived that way, it was a huge reason why I jumped out of my corporate life and started How Writers Write. But regardless, I’m not making rent with the money from selling my unpublished books.
So what does that mean? It means to go to your job to support your life, but if you want to write, you’re going to have to change into clean clothes, get a meal in your belly, and get back to work each day at your second job—chasing your writing dreams. You’re going to have to get at it as if you needed this second job to live, just like my grandpa did. If you don’t show up for this second job of writing, you’ll get fired. You show up and do the work, each day. That’s it.
Thank you for listening, and I hope you have a wonderful week of writing.