The Day Job Thing

Thinking back, I’ve been working for twenty-three years.  And at 41 years old I’m very proud of that fact.  It’s nice being stable; to have steady income and health insurance and some consumer benefits the company hands out as perks.  I work standard corporate hours, daytime, full-time.  Yet, with all this (that I’m extremely grateful for) I harbor, with some consternation, a feeling of resentment.

How can I feel resentment and elation about the same issue?  Well, I’m a writer and although I’m not published but currently working on two projects, there are days when I come home after a hard days’ work, plop on the sofa and think all I want to do is write full-time.  Characters speak to me all day.  They pop up in meetings, they tap me on the shoulder when I’m preparing a report and remind me not to forget “that scene” or sometimes, and becoming more frequent I daydream about the story, watch it play out as if a movie reel is running on loops in my mind’s eye. On the other hand, on that same sofa, I go through the mail, open the bills, pay the bills and thank God for that hard days’ work without which none of these invoices get taken care of.

And for all my dreams and aspirations, let’s face it there’s nothing like the peace of mind of knowing where your next paycheck and meal is coming from.

So, with that said and the fact that I’m not quitting my job anytime soon, how do I make this day job thing work?  How do I stay true to my creativity, my craft while working 40 hours a week in a demanding position?

There are a few things that I’ve come to know for sure and with a little honesty, perseverance and self-care (and perhaps a glass of wine or two…) I’m proving to myself that one thing doesn’t cancel out the other.  You can work a 9 to 5 without sacrificing your creative integrity.

And for that I needed to ask myself and tell myself a few things… Continue reading