Friday, January 4, 2013

Take Yourself Seriously, and Laugh

Do two things for yourself this year: Take yourself seriously, and laugh.

If you're a scientist, or an artist, or a mathematician, or a game-writer, make time for learning or making something new. Make time for doing something you love, that which got you into your profession in the first place. Invest in yourself, as in set time aside for these things. Why? Because it's professional development, because it's motivation, because it keeps you from getting burnt out. Because whether or not you ever get paid for it, it's part of your job, and more importantly: part of who you are.

And if you're a writer, make time for writing. Understand that writing is a profession: A "pay on completion" job. Okay, sometimes you won't get paid, but that's no different from any other art-related job. Writing has a very long production period, but it's still a job. A job you love, and a job you will sometimes have to fight to keep, but a job.

Don't forget that. You're making an investment. Even if you don't earn money from it, you'll have earned experience. And whatever you do, don't despair. Everyone doubts herself sometime. But the difference between self-doubt and despair is whether or not you keep going.

Remember to laugh. Connect with people. Online or in person, connecting with others in the same field gives you a support community. Community, as in people who care about you, who share laughter and stories and their most terrible adventures and funny pictures of cats, dogs, and parakeets.

So laugh, because remembering those moments will be what carries you past self-doubt, what keeps you working towards completing your work. Those are the moments worth working for, the moments worth living for.

In this new year, take yourself seriously, and laugh.

What's something fantastic that happened last year?


  1. Hm... I got to know my advisor better. As helpful as having a big lab was, it was hard for someone as unsocial as me to get close to anyone- especially when people who'd been there a couple years had a rapport going. Now that the lab's smaller and I've been here longer, I'm having a much easier time of it.

    1. I hate that "alone in a crowd" feeling--it's the loneliest kind of lonely. I'm glad you got the smaller lab! :D

  2. Great advice!

    Something fantastic last year? Well, I saw my name in print for the first time. I actually still haven't spent the money I made on my first sale, and probably never will.

    Good luck in 2013, Rebekkah (see, I remembered this time)!

    1. Your short story sale, right? That was great! :) Good luck to you too! (Yay! ;)