Several weeks ago, I teased that I would have news in the next day or so. Many delays that were completely out of my control later, and I can finally tell you.
I got a job.
Yeah, yeah, that’s way more exciting to my friends and family than it is to you, random internet person. But it’s darn exciting to me, and this is my blog, so there.
Starting Monday morning, I’ll be the newest Certified Framer for a major big box arts and crafts chain. Well, Monday I’ll be a Framer. Probably won’t be certified until Tuesday. I have to go through training and orientation first. That looks like I’ve got a bucket-load of ego, but I don’t: I had this same position several years ago so I don’t anticipate many training snags. I should be on the regular part-time schedule by Wednesday.
On one hand, I’m super excited. I’ll have regularly scheduled money coming in for the first time in eight months. I’ll be doing a job I like, and working with people in that kind of setting can only help me as a writer. On the other hand, though, I’m… Disappointed. Upset. Irritated that I have to take this step. It bruises my ego that I can’t yet make my living as a capital-w writer. This job will take a huge chunk out of my writing time. It’s a creative job, so the chances of me being creatively drained by the time I get home are pretty high.
I’m trying to see this as a creative opportunity as well as a much-needed source of income. I’m trying to see the positive.
The irony of the whole situation is that for the past two nights I’ve had vivid dreams about a story I need to write. It’s like my subconscious is making a last-ditch effort to keep me in my home office. “Here! You need a story? I have a story for you! Look! Now you have to stay home and write!” I strongly suspect it’s my subconscious that has the social anxiety disorder.
If anything, this will force me to be more disciplined in carving out time to write and how I use that time. Two weeks ago, Matthew McBride wrote an essay – “How To Get A Book Deal In 3,285 Days” – where he talked about his long journey. It’s sometimes naive, sometimes heart-wrenching, and completely honest. It really struck a chord with me, and has stayed with me. Mostly this part:
Writing the manuscript wasn’t hard. Writing the manuscript while I lived 100 miles away from my job was. I built minivans for one of the big three. At the time, I installed seatbelts on the passenger side. I had the timing just right. I could walk up the assembly line and meet the van: shoot the upper bolt, shoot the lower bolt, slap a plastic clip in the floorboard, walk back to my job, and then write for thirty-five seconds.
So that’s what I did. Night after night. Ten hours a night. Six nights a week. Thirty-five seconds at a time.
I spent every minute consumed with plot and character development and dialogue. I wrote between minivans. On my lunch break. At my kitchen table during the 9 hours out of 24 that I was actually home. But two months later I had fashioned my first novel-length manuscript, and it was a remarkable achievement.
So while I’m whining about my desperate financial need to hold a part-time job (or two) and the writing time I’ll lose as a result, McBride throws down the gauntlet. If I’m a writer, I will find time to write. Period.
The book, by the way, is Frank Sinatra in a Blender, and is available through his website. I haven’t read it, but I’ve heard nothing but good things. As soon as I have some of that disposable income all the kids are talking about, I’ll grab a copy.
I suppose the point of all this is that I really don’t like change but am desperately seeking change. I’m having trouble justifying these opposing stances in my head. The solution as I see it is just to enjoy the ride and see where it takes me – so long as I have my Moleskine handy.