AKA the 9-5 chagrin.
I’ve written before about the difficulty of balancing professional and personal lives.
It hasn’t really become easier since then.
What has become even worse is the physical conflict between what I must do for a living and what I desire to do personally. Though the job I have now is more financially rewarding than any I’ve previously held, that additional income has its own price. I am effectively chained to a desk, forced to stare at monitors to the point of my eyes catching fire. The dilemma comes into play when writing, the thing I want most to do for a living, requires me to use a computer, thus forcing me to subject my eyes and my exhausted brain to more monitor time.
This sounds like a first world problem and I suppose to be fair, it is. I am finally making a decent wage for the first time in years and the company I work for treats me better than most previous employers. Yet I still feel trapped. I am stuck in a position of not being able to afford to only work part time or to risk taking a job that may pay less. I have no one helping me but myself. So how in the world do I balance this with my desire to write? I am working on my second novel. I still have a huge backlog of material to finish for The Uncommon Geek. I have recently taken up writing fan fiction after having wanted to do that for years. And I want to re commit to maintaining this blog.
How am I going to do that, when work consumes so much of my time and energy, when what I have to do to keep a roof over my head ruins my eyes and triggers headaches on a regular basis? When I do nothing but sit and turn into an amorphous blob? The obvious answer would be “find another job.” Do I do just that, hoping that I can still pay for life, or hold out until the day I can achieve my goal of writing for a living?
These questions are the beginning of my journey. The first solution I have come across is to write whenever opportunity strikes, not just when it is ideal. Whether it’s a notepad at work, a quick chapter or short blog on lunch breaks, an update to a project when I first get home and have not hit the point of giving into sheer mental fatigue.
The other remedies I have pondered on or had suggested to me will be documented as I attempt to put them into practice. My successes or failures will likely be the subject of future blog posts.
More so than anything else, what I and other authors must remember is the crux of all success as a writer: just write. Easier said than done, but I aim to prove that I can do it despite the pressure and fatigue my necessary evil of a job asks of me.
It is ironic that you post this now and it caught my eye, as I had just asked someone in the gaming industry what she does to achieve a work/life balance and her response was “I don’t feel qualified to answer that because I am well aware that I don’t have a healthy work/life balance.” As someone in the legal field, and who lives in an empty apartment, I too am very sympathetic to this and well understand how easy it is to fall prey to it. Would that I had some answers that might help – but I am searching for them myself. Should I find any, or should you, we will have to compare!
Indeed, and thank you for the comment.
There will likely be some tough decisions in the near future. I hope that what I have to document in the near future will be something more positive.