Burn the Ships

After crossing the Strait of Gibraltar, Tariq ibn Ziyad ordered his men to burn their ships. In doing so, they were forced to win the battle they were about to fight, or they’d perish. They won.

Today, writers dream of burning their ships by quitting the day job. It’s a romantic notion, but it usually isn’t an option because we have mortgages to pay and children to feed. We need that steady income.

Is it possible to burn our ships on a metaphorical level? Could we make a firm decision to earn a full-time living from our creative work and then set in motion a plan to make that goal a reality? What if we began by working four days a week (at “the real job”) instead of five?

That idea has merit but it also has a major flaw. It gives us an out and when the going gets tough, unless we’re really committed to our goal, we’ll take advantage of the loophole.

Burning the ships is not for the faint of heart. But then, neither is being a writer.

About the author 

Valerie Francis

Valerie Francis is a bestselling author, literary editor, and podcaster with a passion for stories by, for and about women.

Each month, Valerie recommends books from literature’s best female authors. Selections come from every genre because women write, and read, in every genre. The Women’s Fiction category offers up some terrific novels, but these days there’s a strong female presence in thriller, horror, crime, and other genres traditionally dominated by male writers. No matter what the publishing companies may think, in the 21st Century, Women’s Fiction is whatever we want it to be.

stories for women, by women, and about women