Okay, not exactly. But remember when we used to say that as children? You say you love something and someone tells you, “Well why don’t you marry it?!” In the past several years, I feel like I’ve been truly “married” to writing. We’ve had an on-off relationship for about 22 years, but I really got serious about it a few years ago and really kept up with it to where I’m doing it just about every day.
I absolutely LOVE writing. To writing friends, you know what I’m talking about. That zone. The solitude (when possible). Your mind being REALLY put to work and producing something amazing and in many cases, something you didn’t even know was in there. I really can’t get enough of that.
I’m a full-time Army soldier and right now, I’m in Afghanistan for another few months. A long time ago, for the first time, I heard someone say, “Find a career that you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I don’t remember exactly when I heard this, but I was always confused by it at first. I looked around and all I saw were people who worked where they did and it seemed like they were all just so miserable in jobs that they simply had no choice but to remain in. That told me one of three things; 1) Some people won’t be happy no matter what, 2) I didn’t want to have that miserable feeling every day, so I had better make the best of my time at my job, or 3)The person who originally said this wasn’t very bright.
I got the first two correct, but I was dead wrong about the last one, and I realized that later in life. See, way too many of don’t work toward doing something we love…ever. When we first start working, we choose a job. Not a place we plan on working forever, but just something to earn some money. Once we become adults, we choose something a little more permanent, whether we plan on making it a career or not. As for choosing something we love, it may be difficult in the beginning or even at all to do so, but many of us just give up on it all together and continue with whatever job we’ve worked, happy or not.
Of course, there are all kinds of reasons doing what you love may not be the best idea. There are some careers in which you simply could not make enough money to survive on. To my writing friends, of course you know that being author is one of those careers, especially starting out. We all have to maintain our full-time jobs and lives while making writing happen. Now if you’re fortunate enough to have your books turned into movies and everything else, that’s a different story. But there are ways to work toward a full-time career of doing what you love. It may be difficult to figure out and make happen now, but I believe that most of the time, it IS possible.
As for me, my first goal upon retiring from the Army in three years is to be a teacher. At the same time, I will work toward becoming a screenwriter. I’m certain that I will love both, but in relation to writing, just thinking about doing that every single day would be a dream. While screenwriting could be a very lucrative career financially, that is honestly not at the forefront of my mind. It’s great to know that it’s a career that I could continue to live on and be able to take care of my family with. That just inspires me more and makes me want to work even harder at it.
So, what do I mean when I say that I’ve been “cheating”? Well, as writers, we should be writing every day. EVERY DAY. I really haven’t done much writing in about six weeks. There’s a college course I’m finishing up and while many may say that justifies not writing, I don’t. I’m cheating on my writing.
No, better yet…I’m having an affair with the college course. I can’t believe you’re all taking this so well. I should be ashamed of myself and you should be letting me have it.
In all seriousness, we all understand that the reality of LIFE happens and writing every single day just isn’t possible. As much as many of us like to talk about it, if it isn’t a full-time career, there are just times we aren’t able to make writing happen every day. And if you’re anything like me, then you’ll feel bad about it. Better yet, terrible. Rotten even.
Like a cheater. A dirty, filthy, cheater. Hey, don’t get mad at me. I’m guilty of it, too. Writing infidelity is about the worst kind of infidelity there is. To us writers, at least.
But don’t worry; writing often gets its revenge with a little something called “Writer’s Block.”