My job doesn’t pay enough.
I like it, I’ve invested a lot of time and effort to help my students, and to help myself enjoy it. But I don’t earn enough from it, and I doubt I ever will. My wife also works full-time. She earns more than I do, but her work is physical, outdoors. She can’t do it forever. Between the two of us, we barely earn enough for our two kids and the apartment we own.
But I still like writing.
Back when I started this blog, I had the idea that I could earn extra income from writing fiction. But I didn’t go about it in anything resembling the right way. I still don’t really understand how to market myself, how to handle all the non-writing jobs that are essential for a writer. It’s entirely overwhelming and intimidating.
But I still like writing.
I can’t make money from it right now. I understand that, finally. No, even if I do everything properly, I won’t see a penny for a long time. I might win a short story contest, I might get a short story or even a novel published, but the money will be small, a bonus for pursuing a dream at best. A perk added to my day job income.
I’m fighting against my own handling of Inkshares and crowdfunded writing – the evidence of that is still easy to find on this blog. I thought of deleting it all actually, deleting all of my past posts and starting the blog anew. But no, that past happened, it’s still visible, and I will own it as best as I can.
I still like writing. I promised myself I would complete and publish Far Flung, and I will.
Far Flung. It’s been a long time since I’ve posted about it. I have worked on it since the Inkshares crowdfunding attempts. I will finish. I want to try my luck with traditional publishers – I don’t know if the excerpts and information I’ve posted will interfere with my chances, but I need to try. I’ve always been willing to self-publish it; I probably won’t wait too long if I get rejected by some traditional publishers.
I have to do something that is not writing.
I have a number of online courses I bought on sale or received through various promotions. They’re mostly programming – C, Python, Java, and a few other courses. There are a few edX courses too – I’ve just started one now. I’m not sure what my endgame here is. I’m 43 – am I really considering a career change now?
I have to do something, that’s for sure. My wife can’t keep her job forever. Our marriage is not good. Tonight I will go home, and I will do my best to help with cleaning up the house and I will make sure the kids are ready for school tomorrow.
But I will make a mistake somewhere along the way. A very basic mistake, something that would probably not happen if I were better at concentrating and dealing with anxiety. And my wife will yell at me because it’s the nth time I’ve made that exact same mistake. She’ll tell me how the stress of double-checking my work around the house is killing her. She’ll remind me that she works longer hours than I do and has to work every single day because I don’t make enough.
The kids will forget something, or make some small mistake, and she’ll yell at them. I’ll think about how, if I had just done things differently in the past, I could spare them the angry words. I’ll curl up into a ball of sadness and fall asleep way too early. Lather, rinse, repeat. Don’t get me wrong – I know why she yells, I’m not some deadbeat husband who wonders why his wife is always angry. At least I don’t think I am.
And I still like writing.
Somewhere in the changes I must make now, writing will still play a role. It won’t be a career – at least, I don’t see that it can be unless I’m ridiculously lucky. I’ll have to have a different job full time. Right now, today, I still have my current job, and I need it to earn me the time to work on what’s next. Meanwhile, the fictional worlds won’t stop swirling and forming in my head, and I must devote at least an hour or two each day, along with getting more exercise, trying out some online courses, and working with my children.
It’s a hell of a lot to take on. But I don’t see anther way –
Because I still like writing.