Financially, it has been a dismal month. Last Tuesday my trip to a dentist office revealed the need for not one, but two root canals. That coupled with a dismal two subbing jobs for all the month of January has forced a kind of breakdown. I can't keep living day to day. I need to take the risk of more debt and less free time and go back to school, so that I can get the kind of stable job that pays me a livable wage.
I've had a whole decade to pursue my dream. And I'm not giving it up. Rather, I'm acknowldging (finally!) that the dream is not paying very well right now. Even when I want to do things like go to writing conferences or pay for an editor--things that would help my writing--I can't, because I just don't have the money. So I need to prioritze making a living.
When I first came to that conclusion, it felt like a defeat. Like I had admitted I wasted so much time fooling around with my writing. If I had just taken some practical steps after I came back from Japan, I wouldn't be in this mess. But by and by I came to think that this is simply turning off one road and into the next. I made my decision with to whole-heartedly pursue my dream and I stuck with it. I learned many things, but failed to create a realistic backup plan. Now I must restrategize and transition to the newest phase of my life. Lord knows, it hasn't been my first transition and it won't be the last.
I've kept writing, by the way. I've been doing a long brainstorm of The Originals, reworking the plot of my first draft, filling in logic potholes and character backstory, and researching everything from the Alaskan tundra to the Jonestown cult. My notes are their own novella: over 30,000 words. I've added two new chapters to my Three Floating Coffins story and sent out Company to critique groups.
January has been a month of thought. I hope that with the arrival of February, I'll be able to transition into action as well.
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On a sunnier note, Congrats to Michelle Knowlden for finishing her second Abishag mystery novella, Indelible Beats. I wish you all the best luck!