It’s July the 4th. Happy Independence Day everybody!
I’m curled up on the sofa with one of the dogs, still in my pjs, enjoying a lovely strong cup of hot tea. There is, as far as I am concerned, no better way to start the day. Well possibly one of those rare days when you wake up with words practically hemorrhaging out of you to get on the page–waking up in The Zone. But those are few and far between.
I realized yesterday on my day off that I’ve had a really fantastic week. I can’t remember the last time I could say that. I didn’t have cause to blow up at my boss. She wasn’t driving me nuts. Everything went as it should at work. I spent a lovely week reading and refilling the well (finishing the beta read of West Club Moon for my friend Kristen, The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan, and am now rereading Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs to get back into pack mode for the scenes I shall be writing next week). My house is wonderfully clean because one of my good college friends came up Thursday and Friday, and we did a full cleaning in her honor. I feel relaxed and centered and generally just wonderful. The only thing that would make it better would be a 30 degree drop in temperature, but it’s July, so I’ll count what blessings I have.
I didn’t realize how incredibly stressed I’ve been over this year until I wasn’t. No doubt it won’t last because fall semester is coming, and I’ve got much to do to prepare for it with the expansions on my abnormal class curriculum and the planning of whatever I plan to teach in the spring. I will get insanely busy again and turn to writing to keep me sane.
All of it has me thinking about independence today. Not so much freedom from persecution but more the pursuit of happiness.
Everything I have been doing over the last few years has been for the pursuit of long term happiness. I’ve taken on extra jobs, not only to pay off debt faster, but to expand my job opportunities. The more online teaching I can do, the sooner I will reach a place where I can do it full time. And let’s face it. As a career, online teaching bookends much better with a writing career than a traditional 8 to 5 job. That it also strategically fits in with being able to stay home with my children when we have them is more like a side benefit. But really, it’s all for the writing.
A lot of the time I feel very much as if I am fighting a war with life to pursue that happiness. Writing is not a practical career. That’s something that’s been drummed into me from the time I first expressed an interest in doing it. So I spent years pursuing other things (which turned out not to be a whole lot more practical, in fact). Yet I always come back to writing. It is the thing that I have to do. Being a practical woman, I have worked really hard coming up with ways to support myself and my family while I pursue it. And yes, that means spreading myself too thin for several years in order to get those career ducks in a row. And I get stressed and tired and sometimes viciously cranky because I feel like it all takes away from the writing. For now it does. But it won’t always. I have to vigilantly remind myself that I’m doing all of this to achieve the independence that I need in order to truly make a career of writing.
Long live independence.