So one of the things that people have been asking me since October of 2017 when I started the final push to finish Resurrection and publish it is this; how can you afford to work part time?
Well, the obvious answer is that I went to college and became an Early Childhood Educator and I live exceptionally frugally. But the real answer is slightly more complicated, and hopefully more entertaining to hear about.
Somewhere in around 2011 or 2012, I can’t really remember (somewhere in the middle of my twenties) I became a workaholic. I worked all hours, I never took any vacation and had it all paid out, and I even did extra work outside of my normal work hours. I rarely ate, and when I did, it was whatever was on sale or discounted. All to get a little extra coin. Why? Because I had this dream to buy my own house.
Admirable goal, sure. But it started to have an effect on me. People always said I was kind of prickly, but I liked to think of myself as pretty jovial. But not anymore. I was tired and the smallest things would break me. I would get into arguments with co-workers and it would explode into a huge thing. I started dreading going into work. I even got suspended for insubordination (yes, insubordination). Depression started to kick in and I stopped seeing friends and family, not wanting to put on a facade in front of them with a smile.
And then it came to me. This story, that I had been writing on and off for years, was about halfway done. I was at the end of my rope. I petitioned my work for time off so I could finish it. They declined, they needed me (those bastards, but I did feel valuable I guess). But they did allow me to go part time. And I used that time to write and do all the research. And by February 2018, I was up there at that podium giving a speech and my book launch.
And good lord, was it ever cathartic. It was like I was on the most powerful drug ever known to man, and then it was blasted by the second most powerful drug to become the omni-drug. What I’m trying to say is, it’s a pretty hard feeling to replicate. And when my second novel comes out (one of these days, hopefully, still working on it), I will experience said high again.
And in the end, I decided to use that blood money I made in my earlier years as a sort of net. I love what I do, working with children is absolutely worthwhile and every time I see a small child smile, it reminds me that I’m dead inside and I can at least siphon off some of their happiness by proxy (lol). I enjoy it, and they at least all seem to like having me around to my knowledge. And who knows, maybe I can be a mentor to one of the young aspiring writers.
But taking time to write (and propose and market and be social media, something I didn’t know about the first time going in. How naive I was) is also important to me now. Meeting illustrators and planning a children’s book, penning a short story about a revolution and chasing that ever present sequel, it’s fabulous. So yes, part time Early Childhood Educator, part time author. Will I ever take one over the other?
And the honest answer is, no. Even if I bomb my writing career into the floor, I’d still find ways to get my words out there. And if I were to make it big as an author, what would I do without those happy faces asking me to tell them stories at the daycare (preferably not the ones about the Demons I’d guess).
I had to think a bit about what to write this week here, and this one was a toughie. I kept a lot of things to myself, so thanks for reading. Until next time.