Posted on April 28, 2016
Brandon Sanderson and what I learned
I think there comes a time in everyone’s life where they have to take a step back and really ask themselves if what they’re doing is really what they want to be doing. I not only think these times are normal but I think they are great. I think we need to question ourselves and ask ourselves why we’re doing something and what we’re doing.
I went to a reading on BYU campus recently of a science fiction/fantasy writer who had written 8 novels. His name is Brandon Sanderson and his resume is long so you can Google him if you want to know more. He was a little crazy and disturbing at the beginning, but he said something that impacted me and I will forever be grateful. During his undergraduate and for a year after graduation he hadn’t published anything. He said in his introduction that he had to decide what he wanted to do. Would he keep writing, or give up and find a job somewhere doing something. He came to the conclusion that even if he didn’t make a cent on any of his books that writing is what he loved to do and he was going to continue doing it. He wrote a HUGE fantasy novel called The Way of the Kings and later that year got a call from a company who wanted to publish one of his previous novels and later The Way of the Kings as well.
I think that story can be turned on us: “If I wasn’t getting any money for what I’m doing would I still be doing it?” What are my reasons for doing what I do?
In a class I received some excellent counsel in choosing a career. Truman Madsen quoting John A. Widstoe said, “When choosing a career ask yourself, 1. What am I good at? 2. What do I love to do? And 3. What does the world need?” That has helped me in making decisions.
Teaching at a high school while coaching cross country and track has been one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. With the stipend I get for coaching, which I am TOTALLY grateful for and I’m NOT complaining at all just for the record, BUT with said stipend I calculate I make about a dollar or less per hour of my time spent at practice, obsessing about results, planning, traveling, being at meets/races etc. and you know what? I’d do it if I didn’t get a stipend–don’t tell them that:)
I challenge you to evaluate. Ask yourselves those questions. DON’T quit your day-job, but start making progress in the direction you really want to go.
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