Happy New Year to all my loyal readers and followers! We have finally left 2017 behind and begun a new year full of promise and the unknown. I don’t know about you, but since January 1, I’ve felt bombarded with everything but what I want to be bombarded by, i.e. ideas for stories and ideas for solving problems with the stories I have already going. The actual bombardment has been about current events, dealing with a new job search, trying to figure out what I’ll do for medical insurance going forward, getting caught up with the piles of things to do that I’ve put on my living room floor (like filing), and then dealing with what I hope will turn into a minor rather than major health crisis. When do I get to write?
As any professional writer knows, the push-pull of making money vs. making art is constant. Bills need to be paid, food bought, chores done. I am happiest when I am writing, but I am also easily distracted when I know that a job needs to be found to pay the bills or the bathroom has just gotten disgusting and needs to be cleaned. I don’t know how many times in my writing life I have wished for someone to come in and take care of cleaning, cooking, laundry, bills, etc. so I could concentrate on my writing which makes me the happiest. The reality of life in America in 2018, however, is that being happy isn’t what pays the bills, being responsible is.
So as this new year begins, I find myself once again re-examining my life and how I’m structuring my days. I want to sharpen my focus on writing in order to get as much writing done as possible before I return to a fulltime job. At the same time, I need to conduct a productive job search. I can say that this past week in that regard I have accomplished what I wanted to accomplish and I applied for three jobs. But I’ve only been able to work a little on the Aanora story. The job search really ate up a lot of time. Working on my writing needs to be in the same category as the job search because if I can finish more stories and get them out to paying markets, maybe I could also earn some money. Writing is as much a job for me as working in an office for someone else. Unfortunately, the rest of the world doesn’t see it that way.
It’s tough, and I am not alone in this. What surprises me is that this frustration keeps popping up. It affects every area of my life, and can make me depressed. And this frustration feeds into my envy of writers or other artists who have produced a lot and I am still struggling to produce a couple short stories and my second novel. I remind myself that every writer is different. Just as every person is different. Each has his or her own challenges in getting their writing done. Finding the way to overcome those challenges is unique to each writer. I just haven’t yet found the way to overcome my current challenges. What I am thinking about now is that the job search and the writing, of equal top priority, need to split my time 50-50. I’ll figure this out…..
What are your challenges as a writer in getting writing done and how do you overcome them, or not? How do you “remain calm and carry on” when frustration threatens to consume you? Any tips, suggestions or sharing will be welcome and appreciated!