I've been asleep for the whole of today (Saturday), and when I haven't been asleep I've been laying in bed, groaning in pain and reading His Dark Materials. I don't actually like it much, I would prefer a little bit more imagery, and I also find the dialects a bit annoying.
I'm in a dilemma: I'm facing two choices in my life right now. Neither may amount to anything, I'm under no illusions about that, but I'm applying for two different jobs: one which is quiet and fun and will give me tons of time to write, and the other is one of those career-move kind of jobs that you end up having to devote 16+ hours a day to in order to survive in the dizzy heights.
It cuts right to the core of me. How seriously do I take my writing and my work/life balance? I've only just started making a commitment to writing regularly. Job 'a' is a fun desk job, with people I know and like. Job 'b' is the kind of thing I struggled through uni, my Masters, a year of volunteering and months of project work. I know perfectly well that the JG (my long-suffering third novel) will get instantly shelved, I'd have to consider things like professional exams and certifications and all my writing time would be gone, let alone pretty much all my evenings and weekends.
Am I allowed to take my writing seriously in this? My mum thinks not, that writing is just a hobby and in that sense it is one of the many things that gets abandoned in adulthood, like sparkly mascara or black nail varnish or dreams of real love.
I disagree. Writing wasn't a shimmering idea that started as a teenage rebellion. I was writing complicated stories and poems as young as five. In fact, the idea for the JG is rooted back then. Is it time that I just 'grow up,' and put writing aside for, oh, forty years until I retire?
It's a part of me, a part that is pre-Cambrian compared to the mortgage and the direct debits and the office clothing. Dare I allow myself to even want a two-year contract, that will inevitably lead to a five-year contract, and then suddenly I'm sagging and middle-aged and disappointed with my life?
Or do I throw it all away on a risk, the chance that my writing is more important than the day job, and take the one that is fun and fulfilling in the short term but leads to nothing in the long? Dare I do that?
I feel like this is the biggest choice I've ever had to make and the ironic thing is that all this worry and it might not lead to anything. I've got ages and ages before the closing date of one of them anyway, and there's no guarantee of either, not by a long shot. I don't know what to do...
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