In a Facebook group I’m a member of, a member recently posted about how guilty they feel because they have the chance to write full-time and yet they don’t.
I’m currently in that boat. I’ve chosen not to pursue any new consulting work and to just focus on writing and, since I have no real life other than hanging with the puppy and spending time with family, I could technically being writing ALL THE TIME.
I could write for ten hours a day!
I could write seven days a week!
But I don’t.
Because, you know what? I’ve been there, done that. When I was working full-time I routinely worked sixty-hour weeks and hit eighty hours a week more than once. And when I was younger and in college I had summers where between all my jobs I worked a hundred hours a week. And those last two years of college when I was working full-time and taking a full course load it seems like all I ever did was work or study.
I benefited from all of that work. It did let me earn good money and get ahead in my career. But I spent years of my life in a working-all-the-time auto-pilot.
And I just don’t want to do that anymore. I want to sit outside after lunch and read a good book while the pup snores under a tree. Or sit on my butt on the couch at night and enjoy someone else’s artistic work. Or go to my 88-year-old grandma’s house for lunch and stay for a couple hours talking to her without stressing over how many words I could be writing instead.
In short, I want to enjoy my life now instead of putting it off to some other day. I don’t want to live to ninety if all of those days between now and then are full of work. Even creative work like writing.
And, yeah, that may mean I “fail” at this writing thing. Fail meaning having to go back to some other source of paying income. And that will be ironic. That I didn’t work full-time at my “passion” so had to go back to working full time at something that’s “just a job.”
But if that happens?
Oh well. I’ll have enjoyed the years in between. Skydiving, living in New Zealand and Prague, truly spending time with my puppy and my family and my friends, writing whatever the hell I felt like, sleeping as much as I wanted every day, hiking, reading…I’d rather say I did all those things than that I wrote and wrote and wrote.
2 thoughts on “Random Thoughts on Wanting It Enough”
The “hobbies steal from your success” mindset is why I stopped reading articles about people who’d turned their dream into a massively well-paid job. Because they all had the same story of working extra hours in the mornings and evenings, and not letting themselves get distracted, and getting out there 25/8 because only losers accept the laws of physics; then, when they’ve “made it”, they spend all their time telling people about it and running courses.
Which might be fine if you want to preach but aren’t in a position to be a priest; but, I realised almost straight after I got serious about being published that the money-per-hour of working in law was better than the lower 90% of writer’s income. So, if it was about money-as-success, I’d need to do more than just be a great author.
Yep, that’s similar for me. If I want money, consulting pays far far more than most writers earn.