The Equation...I should put my hands up here and admit that this is an old blog post that's been languishing in my drafts folder for a long while now, but the contents of it seem to be quite apt for some stuff that's going on with me at the minute, so I thought it might be an idea to give it a tweak and post it...
Quite a while back, writer Cullen Bunn posted a blog, The Complacency Equation, that really summed up a lot of things that bubbled up to the front of my brain then and have continued to do so every now and then. I completely agree with Cullen's equation ("Complacency = Stagnation = Death!"); it's been something that's driven me with my own work (that and my stubborn refusal to just be sensible and pack it in); it's made me strive harder to be a better writer, to try new things and tackle challenges that will stretch whatever meagre skills I may or may not possess as a word monkey.
Even at this stage in what I could barely call a career, it'd be easy for me to sink into that warm, fuzzy sea of complacency and daydream about Babble becoming a gigantic Hollywood blockbuster and we could churn out sequels every year whenever we felt like it, while continually patting myself on the back for having that one book out there. But I just can't do it; I don't think it's in me to reach that kind of plateau and stay there, happy and content, re-treading the same old ground and living in past victories.
I've wanted to be a full time writer for as long as I can remember. I haven't managed to get there, clearly, and it's actually taken me longer to get to where I am now than I would've liked (even claiming I've made any kind of headway feels spurious), but I never really expected it to be an easy journey. Well, maybe once, a long time ago when I was young and foolish... But to reach that goal, I've had to find something to push myself, something to keep me going, and, a when I read Cullen's original blog post, I realised it's that equation.
Like Mr Bunn, I've started to gain more traction as I've taken writing more seriously and treat it like a job (albeit one I can slack off from when the mood takes me - which isn't all that different to a couple of office jobs I've done, really). By doing that, my attitude to it all as changed too; I'm gradually beginning to think about it in a more long term way, as something I can make happen with enough work (and working at it is the key). But that change in attitude means I have to reapply the equation to myself. I have to start working harder and smarter; I have to diversify, push myself to try new things, create and exploit opportunities (and possibly even have to compromise some of my principles in the process - although, this blog post from Mark Waid has made me think twice about that).
I realise that this blog post won't mean anything to anyone except me, and, really? It doesn't have to. This is something I'm putting out there, publicly, so I can hold myself to account if I fail to make anything happen. If other people read it and take something away from it, cool, if not, then that's cool, too.
For now, though, I guess I have to get back to it...