I’ve now been working full-time as a writer for almost two years. I’m still convinced that it was the right move, and I’ve no regrets. I’m one of those lucky people who get paid for doing what they love. I can’t imagine making my living any other way, but there are times when I really miss the security of a regular job.
Writing is Easy
It would’ve been unreasonable to expect life as a writer to be easy. It hasn’t been, but it is not the writing itself where most of my discomfort arises. I’ve never suffered from writer’s block – I’m not even convinced that such a thing exists. Of course there are days when I can’t be arsed to write, but I don’t see any reason to give this a fancy name. The state of my finances is usually enough to get me past this laziness. My problem is not so much the writing but all that goes with it. I’ve written before about the price I pay to be a writer, but my main cause of suffering is the lack of security.
Financial Headaches Keep Me Awake at Night
I make enough money as a writer to keep going. I pay my bills on time, and my family always has food on the table. I can even afford the occasional treat. My life is far from extravagant, but I don’t have too much to grumble about. It would have been nice to be able afford to take the family back to Ireland this year, but it’s not the end of the world. My financial worries are all about the future. It wouldn’t take much bad luck to put me in the poor house.
In the past I gained comfort from my certainty that I’ll always land on my feet. I’ve been in some desperate situations, but it always turns out good in the end. I suppose the secret is that I’m not afraid of things going bad; I know the tide always comes back. I managed to climb back from homelessness and alcoholism, and I can’t imagine being in a more desperate situation than that. What’s changed though is that I now have a family. I can no longer be so caviler about the future. If things go wrong it won’t only be me who suffers this time.
I get days when my mind feels almost frozen by fear about my financial future. I gave up a secure job as a registered nurse because of wanderlust – I wanted to see the world. I then gave up the regular paycheck of a teacher in Thailand to become a writer. In a lot of ways I’ve burnt my bridges. I couldn’t afford to work as a teacher again in Thailand; I’ve a lot more financial commitments then I used to. I’ve also been out of nursing so long that I’d probably have to do an expensive back-to-nursing training course if I wanted to return. I wouldn’t want to go back to either profession, but having the option would remove some of the worry from my life.
I’ve usually no problem getting out of bed in the morning to go to work. I still love writing. Maybe this financial insecurity is the price I pay for a dream job.