I know, I know this website is like, defunct these days. I have been struggling to maintain a work-life balance, as they say, and discovered that the ‘work’ part of the equation is way out of whack. First, a little over three years ago I took a programming position that was much more challenging than I’ve ever handled and that, my friends has literally killed my side writing. I used to finish my ‘day’ job then head out to the coffee shop to type for a couple hours before heading home, plus add a day on Saturday or Sunday and I could easily hit ten thousand words a week. Now, now things go like this: I work my 8, get off work, come home and research more about work to keep up with the languages, learn new languages, figure out the quirks of the operating systems I deal with, then catch an hour or two of Netflix and crash.
I need this job, for certain, it compensates quite well, even if the creative outlets are not as broad as writing about zombies, superheroes or great old ones trying to wake up and devour mankind. Part of me resents ‘needing’ a job, I certainly wish I could walk away and live off my wits, but the fact is I am living off my wits, just not the way I would like to be. I think about six years ago I had the hard choice to make, that of pursuing writing as a full time gig and taking in less money, continuing the way I was, splitting time between a day job and evening writing or of devoting myself to being good at my job. I went for the middle road, as it had served me pretty well historically. Things change though, and the job I had went to shit, so I needed another one and after getting on board there were ‘expectations’ and ‘demands’ and dog gone it, the people there were (and are) supportive and decent; they make me want to be better at what I do. So, my priorities shifted to getting better at programming and writing has been pushed to the back burner. I’d like to add a ‘for now’ to that last sentence, as I know that things always change. I could be unemployed next month, if the company outsources their IT. That’s not on the horizon, but we live in a world of flux, one step ahead of the apocalypse, be it worldwide or merely personal.
I think the most frustrating thing is I have so many things written that are just not quite there, one book done in need of polish, one book mostly written, then trashed and I’ve started over, another book about 90% finished that I just can’t seem to sit down and complete. And this doesn’t even account for the many ‘stubs’ I’ve jotted down over the years, ideas I’d like to revisit, but just don’t seem to find time for.
Health wise this is all catching up to me too, mentally I’m in a constant state of satisfied with my ‘work’ life and down right depressed at the shit-show that is my ‘personal’ life; I see why people dedicated themselves to working, it’s a fuck ton easier than dealing with things that have any meaning. I’m not the first to say it, I know I won’t be on my death bed thinking, “I wish I would have worked more.” Especially when that death bed is in a cold, dark room where I’m dying alone. Sometimes, though, that’s where our paths take us. I’m in the rut right now, but working on it, in three years, maybe I won’t be in the same place.
I have gotten a few words written the last month that I like. A fresh take on an old story that is begging for a follow up novel, I’ll keep poking at it, between the online classes, the programming conventions and the over time. Who knows? Maybe I’ll get a book out in 2020? I for one, live with that hope. Everyday is a chance to live a better life and make better decisions; I can’t chance the past, but I am not doomed to repeat it.