If you're incredibly lucky like I am, your day job is kind of awesome and you actually get paid to write. Honestly, if I wasn't such a driven or passionate person, I'd probably be happy spending the rest of my life getting paid to write the kind of stuff I do. But I'm kind of obsessive about writing. And fiction. Thus, my desire to be a novelist.
I digress. (That happens a lot, stick with me).
Anyways, I'm here to tell you--even with an amazing day job--it will suck the ever loving creativity out of you. Not only do I work full-time, but I have a long daily commute. So when you average my commute into the hours that I'm working...I pretty much spend almost 12 hours away from home. By the time I get home, eat dinner and get things around the house situated, I'm dead tired. I'm ready to kick my feet up, cuddle on the couch with the hubby and watch some TV or spend copious amounts of time on Facebook, Twitter and all that other jazz.
But I don't. Well, I mean, I DO, but usually I open my laptop and I start writing again. On any given day, you can assume I've written anywhere from 4-9 hours. Some people don't realize what that does to a person. I'm not going to lie, it's hard. REALLY HARD. It's hard to stay motivated. It's hard to make myself write after I already spent an entire day writing for work. And some people who don't write, don't understand how much of myself I give to my craft. I'm not anyone special. I don't do amazing things with my life. I don't go home and volunteer at shelters or nursing homes. I don't have kids to take care of, I don't bake or cook, (my hubby thanks me for that, the kitchen would be in flames if I did) but everyday I face the blank screen and I bleed on it. Figuratively. Literarily. Not literally. I'd be dead if I did that.
But seriously. There are some nights when all I want to do is be someone who comes home and is happy with just "being," if that makes sense. But that's not who I am.
I pour my heart, soul, tears and time into writing. I take every single word, sentence, thought and I put it into a word document so that after all those long days, I'll have a story to be proud of.
And I am. I'm so proud of myself. I know that may sound like a bold thing to say, but really, how many times have you heard a person say, "I wish I could write a novel," and how many people actually DO it?
I get asked the same question all the time, "How DO you write with a full time job, family, friends and life?" And if you're a beginning writer (and my family) you aren't going to like the answer. I sacrifice. I have to say no to family events. I have to say no to movies. To reading books that have been sitting on my TBR list for weeks, months, years. I have to say no to blogging. I have to be okay letting the house remain in shambles. Sometimes, I even sacrifice my health at the expense of getting my words down. That is how I do it. It's hard for my family and for people outside of the writing community to understand. I bet some of them think all I'm doing is tinkering on the computer or messing around but that is part of being a writer. Knowing that until people have something tangible to hold onto, they won't understand.
There are some jobs that wouldn't be too kind about their employees working on something so elusive as a novel and while I probably open my mouth about it at work a little too much, I'm proud to say that I have a support system at work. Most of them believe in me and respect my goals and aspirations. It's hard to explain to them that when I release my book, it's not like the movies--I won't be an overnight sensation, (I wish, though!) I won't make millions of dollars, (again, I wish!) and I definitely won't quit my job anytime soon. So I hope their support continues because honestly, it would make my life so much harder if I didn't have it.
I guess this post is really for those of you who work endless hours, day after day and come home to pull out your computer or notebook and write. You are my superhero. We give each other strength knowing how hard it is, and yet we still do it. Because we love it. Because we can't see ourselves NOT doing it.
Keep believing, keep your motivation and above all, don't stop writing. You'll make it. We all will.
*(Okay, I'm totally guesstimating on that percentage...if someone finds an actual statistic, let me know and I'll update and owe you my eternal gratitude).