It’s six a.m. on a Saturday and I’m the only one awake, as usual. Except for my cats, of course. It’s them who wake me up this early because, technically, it’s two hours past their feeding time. Apparently they have schedules to keep, even on the weekend. Go figure.
My day-job continues to be a hellish landscape. Text messages while I’m at home allow no escape from it. The stress and pressure follow me wherever I go, even the frozen food section of the grocery store as I am too tired to prepare a fresh meal for my family.
My mind is so tired from the business of the last two weeks that words simply escape me. I am exhausted, more mentally than physically. I still have the urge to write, the craving to do so, but my mind simply isn’t cooperating.
It is preoccupied with the busy-ness of life. It won’t allow me to take flight into my imagination because one part of it knows that it’ll take me all weekend to get the laundry caught up. It wonders if I have enough scent-beads to make it through all those many loads.
While I yearn to jump back into the make-believe world of my novel, my brain is making a meal plan and grocery list instead of allowing me to see what my characters are going to do and say next.
I’ve stopped laughing out loud when my favorite character, Ella, pops off at the mouth with her usual silliness. Her frame of mind has morphed into my frame of mind, and she has become tired and boring.
That’s not good writing.
I have never seriously considered quitting my day-job. Until this week.
I am the primary bread-winner. My paycheck is a necessity for survival.
But what about my own survival? What do I do when that paycheck is squashing the very thing that makes me feel alive?!
Reading and writing are what fuel me, bringing out everything that is passionate within me. If I were ever stranded on an island, I’d need three things to survive: a good book, a pen, and paper.
Yeah, I would starve to death but I would die happy.
I have vacation scheduled next month, and I strategically planned it around it my family’s activities so that I could have a “stay-cation”. I plan to stay in my jammies, my big bootie at my desk, and write.
Blissfully uninterrupted, laser focused, completely responsibility-free.
I will block the numbers of my co-workers. They’re on their own.
I am steadfastly determined to finish my novel that week. I look forward to the rewrites, revisions, cuts, and all the hard work that will follow.
This is the difference between passion and paycheck. I welcome and embrace the work produced by my passion, while simply earning a paycheck is stripping me bare.
It’s two completely different types of survival.
I’m hoping, during that week of “stay-cation”, to determine a solid path that will allow me to survive with passion.
And, I hope that returning to work after a nine-day absence won’t make me lose my mind.