I'll get straight to it. (My Friday blog posts are often cathartic.) I applied for a job, and I've made it to the second round.
This isn't earthshattering; people apply for jobs and make it to the second round all the time. I'm not asking for gasps of admiration or even polite applause. I'm just asking for your ear.
Here's the thing--I have a Life About Which I Say Nothing (in order to remain anonymous, obviously), and I have my Writing Life, into which you are fully and joyfully invited on an ongoing basis. My Writing Life comprises a certain amount of my time, and that time includes this blog and MY WRITING.
You get where I'm going, right? This job (which entails writing!) is a 10- to 20-hours-a-week, work-from-home, how-could-it-get-any-easier job that would theoretically fit like a puzzle piece into my Life About Which I Say Nothing. But...and this is a gargantuan but...that 10- to 20-hours-week? THAT IS MY WRITING AND BLOGGING TIME.
If I am offered the job, and if I accept, I don't know when I will write.
No, I'm not being melodramatic. We all have the Things we do every day -- our jobs, our relationships, our lives. And there are only so many other Things we can add to the daily lineup. So, seriously. I'm feeling like the fact that I'm even flirting with this job is like admitting that I'm considering, even unconsciously, the fact that it's time to move on.
Believe it or not, I do have other work in my life that isn't Authorly Work. But I'm sure it's obvious by now that I don't have a 9-to-5 office cubicle job that takes me away from the writing world every day. (If I did, I don't think I could handle the blog.) I work from home, which is a huge blessing for many reasons. So this New Potential Job fits into the way my life is already shaped.
But, oh. Those hours-that-should-be-writing-hours. They are sacred to me. And now I find myself considering filling them up with something that isn't writing.
Well, it's writing. But it's not WRITING. What it is, actually, is copywriting. Which I have discovered is something I can actually do. I don't love it the way I love writing stories, but I can do it.
Mr. A has been so supportive over the years. But it's been getting harder and harder for him to watch me work so hard and have nothing to show for it. I think it seriously pains him every time I get another rejection from an editor. And there's the whole money thing. Writing stories is great, but, frankly, there's no stream of income attached to this.
I was supposed to be the one to jumpstart our retirement fund. I was supposed to be the one to dig us out of the financial hole left by an epically failed business venture that left us with a debt load the size of Alaska. (Lesson learned: Find investors. Don't use personal credit to fund a business.)
Big dreams, those. "Don't worry; I will save the day! In a few years, I will have some books sold, and we can pay off the rest of this debt. And then we can put the rest in the bank and feel like we actually have some sort of nest egg."
Wow. These were deeply private dreams, and I've just spilled them to the masses. But this is raw stuff, and I know that, for many of you, the decision to keep writing or stop writing is pretty raw, too. There are dreams, and there's reality. There's the ROI on our time spent. If warm fuzzies are enough to keep a person writing, then warm fuzzies it is. But after 10 years of writing novels, my fuzzies have gone cold.
So. This may all be for nothing, as the job may never materialize. And even if they offer me the position, I may ultimately feel like it's not a good fit for me. (I mean, ugh. Copywriting. How does this compare to writing kiss scenes and making things explode?) But I had to throw this out there, especially to those of you with full time jobs and super-full lives who STILL FIND TIME TO WRITE. Like those of you with nine children and six dogs and a job and a volunteer position at the local food pantry.
Writing at night isn't a good option, because my brain doesn't function well after 8 pm. I've tried.
And I already get up at 5:45 each morning, so getting up even earlier probably isn't an option, either.
(I'm not being difficult; I'm being realistic.)
(Also, I don't do caffeine, so I can't even artificially wire myself up.)
So. If you have a super-full, super-busy life, but you still write regularly, how do you manage it? Do you feel like you spend enough time on your craft? Is it worth anything else you might sacrifice (like, I don't know, sleep or food or possibly shaving your legs)?
I feel like I'm at a crossroads. And I really, really hate being here. I need your words of wisdom today.
Thanks for being wonderful!