The Wizard At The Pass: Creating Profitable Boundaries For Your Business
We might not have the powers of sorcery that Gandalf the Grey has, but we do have the nine superpowers of the muse. Those are pretty powerful. Yet, in order to fully utilize our muse (and its associated superpowers) we need something more. We need boundaries.
Just as the Balrog tried to stop The Fellowship from continuing on its quest to find the ring, writers have many things which try and stop them from pursuing their writing career. Life happens, even to the best of us. Most writers I know have to juggle their writing along with a “day” job, caring for their families, and other commitments. It’s a busy schedule to be sure, one that makes most non-writers’ heads spin. If we don’t pay attention, those commitments will overrun our writing, leaving stories and lost chances by the side of the road.
I think most of us have been there with missed submission deadlines for publisher projects or even missed deadlines with our editors. The book we wanted to write becomes the book we’ve been working on for weeks, months, sometimes even years. The story is all too familiar, and those of us who have experienced it don’t want to go back there again.
The best way to stop “life” from happening to our writing is to set boundaries. Draw the proverbial line in the sand or across the stone bridge. We do this to carve out time for us to write. When we look at what submission calls we’ll submit to or what stories we will compose, we’re setting boundaries. Some authors won’t write about certain topics; those decisions become boundaries. The same process goes with publishers. Many of us have publishers we will, or we won’t work with. Each boundary we place guides us closer to our goal.
Some boundaries are easy. For example, if we have no interest in a specific topic, then we won’t write about it. When we hear about a publisher behaving badly, the decision comes quickly not to submit to that publisher. If a market is non-paying, we might make the easy decision that it isn’t for us.
Other boundaries we create aren’t as easy and might require thought and careful deliberation. How to accommodate writing and family would be one of those boundaries. Perhaps it means having a spouse or friend help with child care. Maybe it means shutting yourself in your office for a specified amount of time. It means standing up for your career and your dreams. Saying YES to the life you want to build for yourself.
In order to do this, it’s important for a writer to connect with his or her Guardian Muse. This is the inner wizard standing at the pass determining what can, or cannot, pass. Connecting with the Guardian Muse starts with a single step: saying YES to your writing career. Then, follow that up by treating it like a career.
Regular schedules help. Sometimes that isn’t possible, so writing when you can, and as often as you can, works, too. Getting rid of guilt that you’re taking care of yourself and your career will make finding that Guardian Muse all the easier. In fact, just that single step can pull your Guardian Muse out of hiding and send it into action.
Boundaries are important. Ask any sports teams and boundaries can be essential to how the game is played. We erect boundaries in our lives all the time, so why shouldn’t our writing be any different? Not from a sense of fear, for Gandalf showed no fear with the Balrog. He did what he needed to do so The Fellowship could continue. And that’s what our Guardian Muse will do for us. Stand at the boundary and ensure that only those things which are essential to our career pass through.
Our writing career might not be as life or death as the scene in Lord of the Rings. However, it is just as important to us, and it’s worthy of our protection.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Guardian Muse, visit Mary’s website, http://www.musecharmer.com, to pick up her free cd, Easy ways to Unleash Your Inner Muse-Powered Super Hero (of which your guardian muse is one of the powers).
Mary Caelsto's Bio:
With over a decade in publishing as an author (over 50 books/novellas published under a couple of different pen names) as well as approaching five years as a publisher, Mary Caelsto helps authors create careers as inspired as the stories they write. With her work as The Muse Charmer, she puts authors in touch with their muse. Visit her website at http://www.musecharmer.com to learn more about Mary and her work.