Here is another example: In the past week I have been given two more magazine assignments and I said yes to both. I’ve negotiated with a regional organization regarding a grant-funded writing project that would pay more than half my annual income (we’re in the final stages) for roughly eighty 400-word articles. [Aside: I’ll believe it when I see it. Grant-funding is notoriously helpful and precarious all at once.]

So I’m at my desk. I got home at 9pm after being at the dojo. I’ve been responding to emails, addressing grad invites, printing info to help in the articles I need to write, and making a to-do list. It is now after midnight.

In my former view, this would not dissuade me. I would go ahead, right now, and write that blog post about Chapter 9 of the book I’m reading on ki. I would catch up with my written blue belt journal for karate. I would write Cam another poem because it’s my turn, again. This are all good things to do. And right now, I am not going to do them.

Is this the beginning of carving out time for paid gigs and cutting away at the time for my more creative work? Is this that fatal turn that writers make (sometimes more than once in a lifetime), starting to steer more towards the immediate and the paid and less toward their muses? (And boy, isn’t it lovely when the buck and the muse are lined up?)

I don’t really know what to do but I’m not sure I like where this is all headed.

I’m not ready—I’m just NOT READY yet to leave my job at the coffeehouse (and my benefits). Not in the middle of a recession. Not on the cusp of student loan payments. Not now. Not now.

So now, what?

One day at a time? I’ll try.

  • Marisa

    Katey, I know this struggle so well. It all started for me last summer, when I got the gig as a writer for Slashfood. I was making money as a food writer, but it definitely took a bite out of my creative time. Last November they asked me to be the editor of the site, so now I do all the administrative stuff and still write. It’s all freelance and doesn’t generate enough to cover the bills (mostly the student loans that kick in next week) so on top of it, I took a full time job as a web producer.

    I hardly ever allow myself the time to fall into that place where I’m writing in flow with the universe and I miss it terribly. But I don’t know how else to make the daily details of life work. It’s a challenge.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.