Baby It’s Your Call; No Pressure at All

I have been thinking a lot lately – the last few months, since the drastic change in life-course appeared on the horizon – about what I want to do when I have absolute freedom to build my own life. What do I want it to look like; what do I want it to be.

Perhaps the most important part is that I do not want to remain a 9-5 slave in the employment of someone else. I can work very hard and very dedicatedly, but the only times I am happy giving that much of myself is when the work is for myself. I dislike giving the best of me to someone else for a paycheck when I know they are not really utilizing my talents to the fullest. I would rather work for myself, because I as an employer of my self would understand how to best use my own talents. So foremost on my mind has been considering how to pimp out my various talents and expertises for a cash flow.

Funny thing: fiction writing doesn’t even make the list.

I have 4-5 different ideas and schemes in mind (and intention to implement all of them – the whole many small streams make a sustainable river income idea), some of which do involve writing – but not fiction.

Part of the reason for this, I think, is that fiction writing is slow (for me, anyway) and the return is not guaranteed – nor is it guaranteed to come right away. But a lot of it is inclination. The things that energize me, that make me excited to do with other people, that make me feel my entrepreneurial and innovative oats to sow, are not fiction writing. Fiction writing is personal. It is for myself, and if others enjoy it and give me a little money for it, great – but I cannot write for the money, and I don’t want to make myself hate writing because it’s not paying the bills. I realized, texting with a friend last night, that probably part of the reason writing has been so un-joyful for me in the last couple years, is that I had focused on it as a means of ending my day-job, and I was upset at myself for not being able to produce fast enough to keep up with the plan, and upset at the uncontrollable nature of selling. I was forcing myself to write because that was the plan, and it wasn’t enjoyable or inspiring. Sometimes you can only realize your dreams when you let an old dream go.

I am letting go of the idea of making my income writing fiction. I have a lot of other talents and skills that can be exploited without the use of an external employer to keep a roof over my head and food in my son’s mouth. That is my real dream. If I let go of novel-writing as the means of attaining that dream, I can make it a measurable and quantifiable goal with a probability of success by using those other talents and skills as the basis. And I can keep writing as a hobby, an artistic expression that I do for myself because I can’t not do it – and I can still publish the things I finish, when they are ready, and let my work find its audience. Maybe someday I will have enough work and enough audience to re-think the “day job” side of my work life. And maybe I won’t. But this way I don’t have to feel bad if I don’t, and I don’t have to despair that I will never get out of desk-job hell because my writing isn’t doing what it “should” be. I can have my dream – and my writing.

Sometimes wildfires are necessary to clear out debris and detritus.

We don’t need no water, let the motherfucker burn – burn, motherfucker, burn.

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5 Comments

Filed under Ramblings, Writing

5 responses to “Baby It’s Your Call; No Pressure at All

  1. Lindsey M-E

    I applaud you. Glad to hear you making a new path for yourself. I wish you prosperity, contentment, and happiness in 2016. Let it burn.

  2. A careful and detailed analysis. When you have a lot of skills and talents, some have move monetary value than others – but also some energize while some take energy.

    It’s a good thing I love writing fiction – and already did the other things when I could – because right now the only thing I CAN do is write fiction. I had a too-short career doing the science and computational physics I loved, and some of those skills on the programming side were wonderful to have when I started publishing myself, but I could never do them for someone else now as a career (formatting books for other people would drive me mad).

    Knowing yourself is a constant process. This post shows you’re doing the work, and I like the answers you are finding for yourself. They don’t exclude writing – but they don’t put pressure on it to support you, something which I’m finding is not good to depend on at the early stages unless you are incredibly lucky (something I obviously am not).

    Keep going.

    • I love your point about tasks that take energy vs give energy. I am sensitive to the energy flow of introversion/extroversion in a social sense – have never considered it in a task sense. But i think it’s apt. And writing, for me, is an energy suck, not an energy-giver. i think bc i need that immediate feedback of “task: accomplished” to feel energized by doing something. also it’s generated entirely from within myself, whereas the other things i am thinking about doing would all be either collaborative or externalized. So both not things that require massive amounts of my personal energy to do, and also tasks with finite beginnings and ends to mark as done and make the part of me that likes accomplishment happy.

      you keep going too!

      • We are very different in that – I am happy with pouring energy and what time I have into the writing tasks, and very UNhappy when the tasks are finite things I have no interest in. I do them because I HAVE to, but take no pleasure in it.

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