|Typing Text by (c) Francisco Farias Jr|
I have three jobs. Yes, three.
One is a full-time 8-5, Monday-Friday deal. This is what pays my bills and keeps me fed. It’s tangentially related to my chosen career path and gives me experience I could use to get a job in the fiction publishing world.
The second is part-time and doesn’t pay me a lot, but it’s something I’d do for free anyway. I teach dance classes–mostly modern, jazz, and lyrical although I am teaching an intermediate tap class this year. I spend my time here because of the physical benefits and because choreographing serves as another creative outlet. Which brings me to job number three.
I write. This job hasn’t paid me much of anything (yet), but I do it because I love it. I love creating stories and figuring out how to get these characters who start talking to me from where they are to where they need to be. Writing is the only job I’ve held for more than two years and it’s the only thing I can see myself doing in the future. But it doesn’t support me yet, and that’s a problem. Because I really wish it did.
Most weeknights, I try to get at least an hour of writing time in in-between dinner and things like laundry, cleaning, and whatever social occasions pop up. On the weekends, however, I do everything in my power to make sure I don’t have to leave the house so I can lock myself in my writer’s cave. I get to delve into whatever world I’m working on for two whole days and I get to take breaks whenever my mind demands them. Basically, I get to work entirely on a schedule set by me and I get to pretend I can keep doing this every day of the week.
But then my alarm goes off Monday morning and that delusion vanishes. I go back to my 8-5 and work on very non-creative things until the next weekend rolls around.
Why am I writing about this? Because for some reason the shattering of the delusion was especially disappointing this weekend and I woke up late this morning and the week seems off to a shaky start. I’m also writing this as a reminder to all of the aspiring authors out there: very rarely is there a switch where one day you’re working three jobs and the next you’re a full-time writer. Selling your first book won’t necessarily do it (unless you somehow strike a Meyer-esque deal) and sometimes selling your third won’t do it. But slowly, over time, if you write well enough and publish often enough, you can get to the point where your only task every day is to sit down in front of the computer (or your notebook) and string words together in meaningful ways. It’s a dream, but it’s an attainable one. So keep pushing forward and we’ll get there eventually.