Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the day job, and what it means to me. When I was a kid, once I'd determined that I wanted to be a writer, my dreams centered around me one day being published, rich, and famous. Reality didn't factor into my ambition when I was twelve, and seventeen years later*, I'm still working on that dream—of being published, at least. Rich and famous? I may be an optimist, but I'm also a realist.
And these days, that's something I've come to terms with. Last week's Magical Words post by David B. Coe about the realities of publishing (and even Carrie Ryan's follow-up about YA publishing in particular) wasn't entirely news to me. But still a part of me had been clinging to the idea that my day job was just that, a day job, one that no matter how much I loved it I would eventually leave to pursue my writing.
That's not to say it won't ever happen. Anything is possible, right? Just that lately, I've come to realize that I'm happy with what I've got. The job I do is rewarding in itself. No one minds that I use my lunch break as writing time. And by working a little bit extra every day, I get one day off every two weeks (hint: it's Mondays).
Sometimes I feel confined by days when I don't get as much writing time as I could if I didn't have the day job, but even on those days, lately I've made it work. Writing in the car while DH drives us to and from work (yay carpooling). Squeezing in half an hour before sword class. Making sure I use the lunch break for actual writing. Fitting writing and reading in where I can, because that's what I need to do.
I thought about taking today and the Monday two weeks from now off, specifically for March Madness, but that's not what this is about. The point is (Dear Universe), this is reality. And I love my job enough to know that even after getting published, I could still handle it. Probably would have to handle it. The "Day Job" may be an epithet for some, but I can't let it be that for me. And youthful fantasies aside, I'm okay with that.
March Madness folks: How are things going today? Do you have a challenge to your writing schedule that you've come to embrace and respect? What do you do to squeeze in writing time? Progress-wise, I'm coming along. Since last week, I've edited 9 chapters. Still more to go, but there's a write-in tonight and I'm hoping to get some work done. How about you?
I'll be at work today *points to title of post* but I'll be sure to respond this evening. And don't forget to check in at Denise Jaden's blog tomorrow!