by Camela Thompson
Today marks my first day back in the office since I started my long break. I remember when I took time off work, several people were excited and asked if I was going to write full time. Perhaps one day in the future I'll be able to retire from corporate life, but not now. Not yet. And maybe not for many, many years. I would be lying if I said I didn't struggle with it initially.
When I started this break, I thought I would use the time to write a couple books. Maybe even three. Instead, I sat at my computer writing chapters, only to delete them. I focused on marketing in the second half of April and all of May. By all accounts, the launch was solid--a definite improvement over the first. It gave me hope that this author platform thing will continue to get easier as time goes on. I jumped into an ongoing marketing strategy. I started a podcast. I spent a ton of time with my dog and husband. I had time to write and interact with my family. I even had energy to do things on the evenings and weekends. I did write a book. It wasn't the book I expected to write, but I was thrilled it happened.
I may have struggled with writing, but I learned some things about myself. I accepted that I can't continue to work full time and be an author without help. I'm lucky that my career by day is lucrative. My career by night--writing--is not. Yet. Having a dual income means we are lucky enough to have someone come in and help clean so I don't have to spend time on it on the weekends. We have a dog walker come every day so I don't worry about our pup. I need to look for help marketing. I made the choice to take a challenging job (that I fortunately enjoy) rather than work part time and attempt to live with a little extra from writing jobs. That would have meant learning how to churn out articles, spending more time cleaning, fixing stuff around the house, and finding ways to save money and live in a really expensive city. It's doable. It just wasn't the route I decided to take.
I enjoy the challenge of my day job, and spend most of that time analyzing trends and pulling together numbers. I listen to business issues and work hard to find solutions. It keeps my brain whirring. For some reason, I do a better job of writing when I'm working. My husband's theory is that I need to use the analytical side of my brain for the creative side to flourish. I think it has more to do with having incentive to spend precious spare time wisely on a hobby I enjoy. Less time is dedicated to the wormhole that is the Internet and more time is spent typing. I'm more willing to push through writing walls and persist rather than wait for a muse to strike.
My weeks just got busier, but it doesn't mean I'll stop writing. The book output may be lower than it would have been otherwise, but I'm not so sure about that anymore. I've accepted that I may only be able to kick one book out a year, but I'm going to take the time to make that book as good as I can get it. Both working and writing means sacrifices. In the coming months, I know to look at the things that get put aside and make sure the right sacrifices are made.
Have you had to make sacrifices for your passion?
Freelance writer and Dark urban fantasy author featuring vampires with bite.