Updated: Jul 9
Ever hear self employed freelancers and writers say the best thing about giving up the 9-5 job is that anxious Mondays become Happy Mondays? This writer knows it all too well, especially when I worked in the entertainment industry. At that time, I was in my twenties and suffered from social anxiety. As I grew into the person I would become and especially after I prioritized my writing, I came to understand that, though I loved music, explored acting and needed to put groceries in my fridge, the writing community is my tribe. We understand the ins and outs without really being taught any rules about what a writer's life means.
I still continue to grow in that understanding and have come to view my need for balance as the cyclical nature of my creativity. Some seasons are full of inspiration, writing, and ideas. There are other seasons where the nuts and bolts of living take priority.
There are many schools of thought on this issue. One thing we know for sure, writing we will always continue but as to the schedule and our life's interests and responsibility, we cannot shrink and hide.
Lately I've been in that space again. Working on my WIP well into the summer, I know that I am behind my personal goal schedule to have it on submission. But I'd rather put my best into this final edit than rush to get it into the hands of an editor or agent that sees potential and nothing more.
I also find that the solitary life spent behind closed doors typing out my latest novel begins to push me away, when I need to be outside and around those in my other profession. When its time to live and fill up my experience repertoire.
Still its a decision I am taking seriously. There is the guilt of feeling like you are falling behind in every phase of life. There is the guilt that you haven't put enough writing work out into the world. What helps with giving up Happy Mondays? The commitment and knowledge that many writers of my generation are now are in there 40s and 50s and that our greatest works are born when we live and record. Its not too late and I'm still on time in that regard.
I am a serious observationalist of others and myself. Right now, at this phase of life, the need for a bestseller is not taking precedent over my desire to get out of the house and just live a normal life. There's also the desire to travel and love. That means its time for a break where I am not forcing the end of my manuscript at the expense of experiencing fulfillment. Giving up Happy Mondays is a possibility for now and perhaps for a while. But writing is part of my identity and a real need I have come to understand. I've committed to meet this duality with patience and consistency.
Getting to "the end" will take more time but of myself I am expecting the best output - meaning the authentic story as it was given to me and the greatest expression of the full colored world that my characters inhabit. The way I treat my own needs impacts the care I can give to my writing. So recognizing this need to shift is vital, Its not the end of inspiration and motivation, it is a shift towards the dual life roles that writers take. We observe, we record, but we also must really live our lives in the present. #writerslife #writingcommunity #lifelessons