Less Money, More Problems

For the last few weeks, my mood has vacillated between elation over writing and total despondency over writing and underemployment. Today, I am in a slump.

I know, it may seem to an outside observer, that I am completely in control of this problem, that I have created it for myself. And this is true. Surely, to one degree or another, I am capable to going out and getting a second job, or switching from my current line of work to a full-time gig, but, as anyone else who graduated college with a liberal arts degree knows, it is not quite so easy. I so much want to be an adult with a career and collaborators and a vision of a future that I am confident will pan out. And I want that career to be writing novels and screenplays. I love writing. I know I am good at it. But I have no idea if it will pan out. And I am certain, that if it does pan out, it will be several years before I am making a living at it.

And, lately, with my hours of work trickling from just enough to pay my expenses to not enough to pay my expenses, I am thinking more and more about the reality of putting writing first and everything else second. It’s stressful. It puts all this pressure on writing to be the thing that will save me from mediocrity. The thing is, I’m really happy with my life, most of the time. I am very lucky to have a sweet boyfriend who supports me financially and emotionally. I am very lucky to enjoy my job, and make good money per hour. I am very lucky to have so much time and mental energy to write. I would be happy if things stayed the way they were with one exception– money. My current path is not sustainable. It is all work towards a theoretical future where I make a living, a good living, as a writer. But this may never happen, and eventually, I’m going to have to climb onto a path that is sustainable, that does not rely on writing rescuing me from my financial slump.

And I don’t know what the fuck that would be.

The truth is, I have no experience at “regular” jobs. I am not interested in working for free. I am not particularly interested in working in the film or TV industry in any capacity but as a writer.

I tell myself a day job will leave me no time for writing, but all this stress makes it equally impossible to write.

I feel like I’m at a crossroads, but I get this feeling once every 2-3 weeks. I tend to take the path of least resistance, to delay the decision, to tell myself just a little longer, just until the school semester is over.

I tell myself I am only 24. I can wait a few more years. It’s not like my brain is turning to mush from lack of work–I write 30 hours a week. If anything, I am exhausted for writing so much.

I have been thinking more about getting a teaching credential or applying for a program like Teach for America, but I’m not sure if I really want to go down that path.

I’m much more confused than usual.

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2 thoughts on “Less Money, More Problems

  1. I’ve been there. Hell, I’m still there, never left there. I write a lot, and I just got a full time job. It’s rough, really rough. I know you didn’t present any sort of solution to it, but I felt encouraged reading this, anyway. I just gotta say, if you’re anything like me, a must-be writer, never ever ever put it on the backburner, even when real life seems to demand it.

    • Thanks! It always helps to remember I’m not the only one. I don’t think there is a solution- writing or a real job, it’s always a compromise of some kind.

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