So, I got a job.
For those of you playing at home: I was laid off from my ad writing/marketing job in late 2009. This was fine with me, back in the day. The job had ballooned in proportions that I had not foreseen, and I was not compensated in kind. I worked fourteen hour days, and cried when I got home with the knowledge I had to do it all over again the next day. I gained thirty pounds stress-eating and working through lunch. I was miserable.
Being laid off afforded me unemployment (this was right before that, too, went in the toilet) and a lot of space to get my shit back together. I lost forty pounds, and wrote my first manuscript.
It’s been a few years, obviously, and while the husbandface does well, we tend to live pretty paycheck to paycheck most of the time. It’s highly irritating, after the amount of schooling he went through, and the hours he works – not to mention that we’re making more than we ever have in the past.
I tried to get hired, for a time. I didn’t get very far: one testing session for a state job, and one interview with a company that employed a friend, and that was it. We did okay, and I learned to cook well, the house suddenly was cleaner, and the kids were well taken care of. I’ve been writing, and even more than years before in the most recent months.
That I got this job was happenstance. A doctor the husband works with needed a notetaker. I was mentioned, and I got the job. It’s interesting, but not ultimately that nerve-wracking: I now work 3-5 hours a day, in the morning, taking notes and transcribing them into a medical records system, all whilst drinking terrible coffee.
My body has trained itself to get up before dawn in the past few years, so the hours aren’t bad. However, my brain has also trained itself to enjoy many many hours of internet clicking between bouts of writing. I’m used to days structured by the beginnings and ends, with a lot of whatever I want in the middle. This job thing makes that difficult.
Finding time for writing is obviously one of the more imperative things in my life. My OCD can handle a certain amount of disarray in the house (and really must, as my children appear to be something like goats in ironic t-shirts), and I’ve got enough skill in the kitchen to whip up something fast and healthy. I have hours I can shove my writing into. It’s the motivation that can sometimes be a butt.
I’ve learned to write in the early morning (like now!), where I used to be completely unable to focus until 10am. I make an attempt to get at least 500 words on SOMETHING, and have managed this for weeks now. Afternoons have been devoted to editing, or working on projects with my Laila, and evenings, after dinner and kids instrument practice and episodes of Doctor Who, is the last of my word count.
It’s funny to me to think how this seemed daunting, even just a few weeks ago. The husband and I had discussed me getting some form of a part-time job for awhile now, but I was, honestly, frightened of losing my time, my will, to write. I am a writer, and I want this as my career.
I feared losing this, relegating it to this hour and that hour, the notion of sitting down and forcing myself to write. I am, as most of you know, firmly of the notion that writers write, and waiting for inspiration, or depending on it, is stupid, and damaging. The fear, yes, was irriational, but there: what if I lost my will, my mojo? What if I stared at a blank screen all too often because I didn’t have my giant swathes of space in which to be creative?
Well, I’m here to tell you: like gators gotta gait, writers gotta write. I’m on my second cup of coffee, and about to log that half to more word count before getting dressed and waking unwilling children. The hospital waits for no one.
Episode 4 of Lilt was posted on Saturday, and a new one will go up on Friday. Please check out the Lilt tag on Laila’s blog. We’ve been having a blast sharing our discussions with all of you!