The Full-Time Dream

I think just about every author, and really any creative person, has the dream of doing what they love full time. I’m no exception. Ever since I dreamed of being an author, I was 10, I wanted to do that as my job. Over the intervening decades, I’ve had grand fantasies of being able to write full time. (I have a very, very active imagination, which is why I can come up with stories in the first place.) When romance consumed my life, I knew, logically, that probably would not be the case. But that doesn’t stop the dream, you know?

The evil day job pays the bills and gives me health insurance, both of which I need it to do. And in truth, my EDJ is not as horrible as some others, and I definitely have some good people to work with. Of course, it also always seems like something crazy and insane is going on, it makes me want to pull my hair out and scream, so it definitely has evil tendencies. But I do it to the best of my ability, and then go home and be an author on nights and weekends.

I’ve spoken before on several occasions about my writing process. Sometimes I get into the groove and am able to write each night. Sometimes it’s better for me to put it away and write for ten hours straight on a Saturday.

I’ve often said that if I don’t make enough writing to have it as my full time job, because I don’t have enough out there, but if I didn’t have a EDJ then I’d be able to write more and would therefore make more money but I can’t quit the EDJ because I don’t make enough and how it’s a vicious cycle. It is certainly that.  But on some recent introspection, I had to stop and make myself really think about it. If my writing process sometimes means no words for weeks, how could I justify saying that I’d write more if I didn’t have an EDJ?

Truth is, if my brain power wasn’t being used up by the EDJ, if it wasn’t occasionally soul crushing and frustrating beyond belief, if my entire focus was on the words, I know I’d be able to write every day. Here and there throughout the day, interspersed with other things, and into the night, and on the weekends….I would get so many more words on the page while sitting in the writing nook in my jammas and with my coffee.

So it’s still the dream. I know it probably won’t ever happen, not for me. And though I’d still love for it to be that way, though I still fantasize about what it would be like, I’m mostly okay with droning on as I’ve been. Because the wonderful truth is, because I don’t rely on writing for my primary income, I can write what inspires me. While I’m conscious of what sells, and what readers want, I’m not wholly limited by it. Fortunately, my stories have an appeal. But if I want to take a different turn, a twist, then I can. And there is a goodness in that all its own.

The dream will never die, but I’m pretty okay with things as they are.


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