Pursuing the art is a full time job. I’m not even going to pretend that it comes easily to me. It doesn’t. I have far too many thoughts in my head for the majority of them to make sense. You can call it bi-polar or bitchiness or moody ‘that time of the month’ emotional swaying…I call it my write brain.
Maybe none of that made any sense to you. But it did to me and that’s pretty much what I have to go on. What sticks with me. What makes sense, what works and what doesn’t. Recognizing what is consistantly haunting me and what things end up by the wayside without a second glance back. Writing has been that thing that I see when I dream and when I wake.
But this isn’t another “why I write” post. This is more focused on the struggle of that in-between forced life I have to live.
I met someone a few months ago who is self-made, well established and obviously passionate about his art. I admire his strength, determination and will. From what little I know, he did it without settling for the middle ground (working while silently pursuing his art). He put 100% of himself and took the huge risk of losing everything on a whim. But he obviously had enough confidence in himself to take the plunge.
I don’t live in that realm of existence. I follow my dreams late at night, in the dark while the world sleeps. I write and think and scribble and edit and revise and scratch out all the words I’ve recorded, second guessing every thought I have while – during the day – I put on the game face and work the 9 to 5.
I work for that paycheck while dreaming about progress far beyond a simple raise or promotion. I want to be featured on those shelves I walk by day in and day out. But until that light shines, I work in hopes of paying the bills, providing for my son and living a humble but happy life.
Is this to say that my art is second? That I don’t work at it in the same way I put in 40 hours a week of work?
I can’t speak for all writers. But for me, energy wise…writing for 10 hours on my off day is the equivalent to the physical and mental drain I get from a 40 hour work week. And yet, I’d do it every day if I could. It’s draining to articulate my thoughts in a way that will be received. And yet, it’s not a chore. It’s not a duty. It’s not a burden. It’s that tired feeling of doing something so meaningful. That insane ache after spewing out raw emotion, slathering it on a page and rolling in it.
I’ve considered that, if it isn’t easy, maybe it isn’t what I’m supposed to do. Screw that. It’s not easy for me because I get in my own way. A LOT. As I do with most things in my life. That’s how I’ve lived the majority of my life. But everyone has to grow sometime.
I work 168 hours a week being a mom, a worker bee, and a writer. Someday, I’ll spend 168 hours a week being a mom and an accomplished writer.