One writer’s reality is another writer’s delusion
I once read that writer Tom Robbins of Still Life with Woodpecker fame quit his job at a bank to focus on his writing career. He called his boss and said, “I’ve been sick for many years, but I’m well today so I’m not coming in.”
I love that quote. In fact, it’s one of my favorites. It might not be as inspirational as something said by Emerson or Thoreau, but it’s clever and it made me wish for the day when I could do the same.
Funny, when you get what you think you want it’s hardly ever what you expected.
After spending the last year in the throes of unemployment, I’ve learned great deal about myself and my writing habits. I always thought if I had time, I would write more fiction, since my day job, among other tasks, was writing nonfiction.
Yet, I rarely wrote any fiction at all in the past year. Instead, I perused the job boards, grew my freelance business, created a Website to highlight my past work, and started this blog. Sure, the job search is priority and the blog features a few short stories here and there, but none were written in the past year. The point is I was given the time, I just didn’t spend it the way I envisioned.
The realization is that I enjoy writing fiction a whole lot more when it’s something I have to fit in. I suppose it’s a creative outlet from the daily grind, something that makes me joyful to think about when my time isn’t my own. I simply appreciate it more.
Writing is a solitary career and for a social person, that’s sometimes difficult. The trick is to combine the two, which I managed nicely. I could work from home or go to the office to interact with my fellow employees and still get my creative juices flowing. And I never dreaded going to work, even though I believed I needed more time to concentrate on fiction.
As much as I admire the cleverness and dedication Robbins gave his craft, I feel at home in the corporate world and in the world of my imagination. His quote still remains one of my favorites, but now that I’ve gotten to live it, I realize it needs a little tweaking to apply to me.
Note: I’m lucky that I’ve been back in the corporate world for the past three plus years now, yet I’m back to wishing I had more time to write fiction. I guess it’s true what they say about the grass being greener on the other side.