I blog today at Babel Clash about following your instincts when you write, and not being afraid to leave the safety of one genre for another.
There’s more to it than I discuss in that blog entry. I could talk forever about all the little, and large, reasons that you should listen to your heart, and passions. Every now and then I’m asked, “How did you know? How did you know that you could give up a normal career for something so risky as being a writer?”
My answer? Gut instinct. And hunger.
I always listen to my gut. And my gut was screaming, “DO IT.”
Also, in the case of writing for a living, I was too hungry not to take the risk. Not physical hunger, mind you—but heart-hunger, spirit-hunger. You know what I mean. Now, I should specify that I already had a contract in hand when I said, “To hell with it all,” and went down to the farm (literally) to write. But even before that, when I made the decision to quit life for a month to write a book—or before that, when I was trying to submit poetry and short fiction—and well before that, when I was dreaming stories in my head and writing them down for myself—I was following my bliss and trying to do something productive with it.
There’s a really great blog—THE DAILY COYOTE. On her blog, she discusses failure and following your dreams, and says this, which I’ve never seen articulated so clearly—and that I also understood to be true, then and now:
“Somewhere in this, somehow, I need to say that I don’t do things that I think are stupid. I do things that other people think are stupid, but based on practice, intuition, what I know of myself, and what I know I’m willing to risk or sacrifice, my choices never seem stupid to me. The mother of my best friend in high school had a saying, “be wild and crazy, not stupid and dangerous.” What I’ve learned is that you are the only one who knows where the line between the two lies for you.”