Writing Blues

It’s Monday and I have the blues.

I haven’t worked on my manuscript in months and it is driving me mad!

Mad at myself, that is.

Last August, I took a whole month of blogging with the intention of getting my manuscript finished. But we all know how that turned out. I got sucked into the void of never-ending work (also known as my day job), among other things. The other things being family, martial arts classes, writing group duties—and the anthology (which is now finished and awaiting release. Yay!).

September came and went, and aside from the 5 chapters I had revised for the Working Writers Retreat, I managed to rewrite only 4 chapters.

Now October is halfway done and I’ve only managed one measly chapter. One!

I mean I have an excuse, of course. I’ve been busy putting the final touches on our CBW-LA anthology’s publication, preparing for my Brown 1 belt test (which was last Saturday), helping out family members with various tasks, trying to cut down the amount of paperwork at my day job—AND—I’ve been applying for new jobs.

The latter is what’s been keeping me preoccupied lately. Ideally I’d love to just stay home and write, but that just isn’t possible. The thing is, I’ve been working at the same company for 6 years and the lack of benefits has finally gotten to me. I’m getting older and not having insurance isn’t a good thing, plus my pay isn’t all that competitive.

The one thing I love about my current job is that I have time to work on my own writing as long as I’ve finished my tasks for the day.  And I’m afraid that’s all going to go away once I find a new place to work. I have a feeling I’m going to be even busier, and I won’t have the flexibility of my current job.

I’m deathly afraid my writing career is just going to go down the drain once I start a new job. I’m fairly sure I won’t have the time to write at all. But I can’t afford to stay at my current workplace any longer because of the lack of benefits, and the hit on my finances.

I’m at a crossroads, and I fear I’m leaning toward the more practical approach to life. It saddens me that I have to sacrifice my writing time just to have a decent way of life. But survival always comes first and creative endeavors usually take the back seat in practical world.

 Or does it?

The thing is, if you love something passionately enough, you never ever give up on it. You will find time to write at the expense of hunger or sleep or personal hygiene, the same way you will always make time for the ones you love.  

This is what I tell myself over and over. I will find ways to keep on writing, despite the lack of time or energy because I should never abandon the things that make me happy and whole; because writing is my soul’s purpose; and because a life without writing isn’t a life at all.

I guess that’s why I’m mad at myself. Because I am not treating my writing with the love and respect it deserves.

And now that I’ve made myself aware of this terrible flaw, I will find a way to correct it. Busy or tired, I will make time to write. Because if I don’t, I’ll go crazy. Or be incredibly depressed. Either way, I am not going to love the kind of person I become without writing.  

So cheer me on, wish me luck and keep me in your prayers, and I will do the same for you.

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13 Responses to “Writing Blues”

  1. Can so relate to what you’re saying. I’m experiencing the same thing. I haven’t written much this whole year and now need to take an online course to up my job skills for when I get laid off early next year and need to look for a new job. Plus taking care of my family and supporting my daughter’s swimming eats the rest of time.

    I think you have to be practical and keep the supporting yourself as a priority. And when you work full-time, there may be times you can’t write much but maybe you can carve out 15-20 minutes a day and more time on the weekends. Or recognize you don’t have much time now, but other things will end in the future that will give you more time to write. Just do what you can and don’t be down on yourself

  2. Hi, Nutschell,
    Like you, I’d love to write full-time, but it isn’t practical for me at this time. You do have the right thoughts-making the time to write because you never really will have the time to devote to it. I’m always reminded that Mary Higgins-Clark was a widow, had 5 kids and was raising them on her own, but she also wrote all those fabulous novels. Keep going. I’ll keep you in my prayers. Hugs.

  3. Cheering for you! It’s definitely hard to be in a new situation when you don’t know what might happen. I know you can make it work. Good luck!

  4. Don’t beat yourself up! We all want it right now, but sometimes it can’t all happen right now. Whatever decision you make, know it won’t be forever.

  5. I don’t have any advice since I’m not a writer, but you’ll find the time when you need it. A little at a time.

  6. Follow Alex’s advice. We all have these dips. Artists can’t crank out creations like chocolate factories crank out bon bons. I’m in the boat with you, so let’s just take it easy, paddle and see where we dock.

  7. mooderino says:

    If you push yourself too hard to do everything at once you can become exhausted and the writing you do can become lacklustre and unsatisfying, Sometimes you just need to get your life in order before you can plough back into the fray, or at least that’s how I see it. In the meantime, the ideas are still ticking away in the back of your head, waiting for their moment. I’m sure when you do come back to it you’ll be refreshed and ready to rock.

  8. I’m sorry you’re feeling down. I can relate as I’ve struggled with writer’s block for what feels like forever now, partially because my head is focused on issues with the job that pays my bills. It’s discouraging, no doubt.
    But please don’t beat yourself up, I think we all go through the times. You will get there and manage to do both. I’m cheering for you!!

  9. Akoss says:

    Have faith.
    It might take you some time to readjust when you switch jobs but you will get back to a new writing routine. Do what you feel is right for you.

  10. Karen says:

    I totally agree with all of the other comments already posted.

    I have a day job too that takes up the majority of my time. It can be exhausting and overwhelming and you can resent the fact that you can’t find time to write. But you also have to be realistic. You need a job and you only have so much time. So don’t beat yourself up. Things will get better. In spite of it all, you do have so many great things going on right now in your life.

    And always remember, the writing will be waiting for you.

  11. Hilary says:

    Hi Nutschell – you always have so much going on and I really don’t know how you do it – you’re always helping others, learning at the same time I’m sure … and then there’s your Karate .. which is so good for you and you’re succeeding there. Congratulations on getting the anthology up and ready ..

    Your job in some ways sounds ideal .. as you have that luxury of extra time ..but not challenging enough perhaps – as you want more .. and those benefits or lack of are hanging over you.

    Good luck with whichever way life takes you … but keep on writing .. all will be well .. with thoughts – Hilary

  12. Julie Luek says:

    Boy, I don’t think there’s a one of us who can’t relate to this on some level, whether we work full-time or not. There’s always something that can distract our attention or need our focus making it easy to push writing, our passion, to the side. I’ve felt that a lot this summer and fall and don’t see it ending until the start of the new year. But, not that I’m “old n’ wise” by any means, but I have learned that life has seasons and they come and go and aren’t permanent or a life-sentence, just a passing chapter. Sometimes I can breathe through it and find my focus again, other times, I realize it’s not all under my control and I have to wait it out.

  13. LD Masterson says:

    I hear you. While I was laid up with my neck problem, I let my writing slip into the background and now I’m having a terrible time bringing to the front again. Come on, I’ll pull for you and you pull for me, okay?

    (How did the Brown Belt test go?)

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