The business of writing

Have you ever been to a business seminar? The kind where the chairs are in a circle and you have to discuss your goals?

I have.

Not for the writing, but for the manufacture of soft toys. At the time I had already realised that business was a strange beast and one I didn’t understand. In order for us (entrepreneurs) to grasp our ‘true goals’ we had to undertake some ‘role-playing’.

Even now I shudder.

So we were all told to picture a line in the ground. This was our time-line. Then each step we took was either a week or a day or a month. I’m sure you get the idea.

I stood at the back of the line.

Finally the woman (a tiny lady with blood-red nails and perfect hair) turned to me.

“Kate, what are your goals?”

“Um, to make toys…”

“Yes,” she said, with a smile that reminded me of a glacier. “But what do you hope to do.”

“Become successful.”

“And what is your timeline.”

I was stumped. What was my time-line? And then, here is a big secret, I made it up. Grandly I walked the time-line explaining I was going to do this and that. Until the last step.

“And this is five years down the line. I hope to have my own emporium of toys.”

The woman clapped. I had just told a story made up on the spur of the moment and I’d automatically moved to the top of the class.

Of course I never got my emporium, I mean if I were still running to that timeline then I still have another two years to go.

Instead, I write.

Really I should have known then, when I grandly walked the room with a tall tale spilling from my lips, that I ought to have been a writer. It just took me three years to realise it.

So the other day I was sitting in a careers advisers room, explaining that I wanted to be a writer and they looked at me.

“Yes,” she said, leaning forward. “But what are your goals?”

I can safely say that writing is like every other business. You need to be able to tell a story, only this one has to be believable.

What am I going to be doing in 344 days time? I don’t know. But I will wake up and know that I have got to write.

This prompt was inspired by the daily prompt – predictions.

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