Wednesday, October 17, 2012

To Write Full time or Not?

So I have a dilemma, or an idea, a scary terrifying idea.  It's one I have kicked around before, but I am a giant chicken shit and will never actually pull it off.

I want to get paid to write.  I want to be able to write for a living.  I want to be able to give voice to my thoughts and ideas.  I want to talk about important issues, and frivolous bullshit.  I want to write relevant articles that help people and awesome scifi- fantasy YA Fiction. 

Y'all I want to write with every fiber of my being. 

But...  I have bills to pay.  Not just little bills like the telephone, I have major bills, like rent and a stupid high car payment and Insurance and vet bills for my boys, who I would NEVER EVER IN A MILLION YEARS trade for anything.  Plus you know food and lights and electricity and all that. 


My Babies! Boomer and Hunter!

My husband works, but we live in an area that is scarce on high wages.  Hospitality is the name of the game and hospitality jobs don't pay. 

It's frightening to think about taking a chance to do something I love.  I mean what's the trade off?  I get to be spiritually fulfilled, but have to eat dollar store hamburger helper?  (No judgement, I have done this many times)  I just don't know if I can willingly put myself in the situation. 

I come from a background of barely making ends meet.  My mother had government assistance at a few points, and my father has had assistance for most of my life.  I remember surviving off of ramen noodles, not because I liked them, which I do, but because it was necessary.  I even recall getting a can, with just a picture of cartoon cow on it.  When we opened it it was corned beef, and we had sandwiches.  It was delicious, but we had no idea what we were getting into. 

12 for $1.50!  Boo Ya!
I don't laugh at jokes that include, government cheese, or poke fun at people for being less fortunate.  That shit is not cool. 
I remember going "school shopping" with my best friend.  She, along with her mother, would ooh and aah over the excellent things that they found at places like Macy's and the Gap, while I watched and tried not to feel badly about not buying anything.  To this day my mother swears she sent me with money to spend, but she never did.  If she needs to tell herself that to feel better, it's not really hurting anyone, so I let her have this indulgence.  Later on, after everyone else was done shopping we would schlep to Wal-Mart or K-Mart and get me the things I absolutely needed. 

Let me clarify, I never went without the things I needed.  But we rarely had extra.  Of anything.  I remember having to wait to flush the toilet because the water bill was going to be too high.  I remember having no water, and having to shower across the street at a friends, or not at all. 

My mother and father both worked very hard for what we had, my mother even managed to put herself through college, and now, has a wonderful job, doing something she loves.  But the fear instilled in me from growing up in a place where we weren't always sure where we were going to get the money for rent, or where the next meal was coming from, or if I would have to make sure I didn't gain weight so that I could still wear my last years jeans for school have made me terribly afraid to take a risk when it comes to money. 

Is it a fair trade off to be comfortable and miserable?  I still don't know.  I have been taking steps to write more, and often.  This blog being one of them.  I am also in the process of having my first novel edited so that I can submit it to publishers.  This is a long process.  I recently submitted an article pitch to XOJane.com.  Baby steps I suppose. 

My dream is to eventually make enough money between my writing, and my husbands job, to support ourselves and our family.  The one we don't have yet due to financial constraints.  Because let's face it, if I have to pay for Daycare, It will take most of my current paycheck.  If I am a writer, I can potentially write from home, and care for my child(ren) at the same time. 

It is unfortunate that we live in a time when this is the kind of choice that has to be made.  My job and money VS My happiness and raising a family.  What kind of choice is that?  the sot of living nation wide has gone up so significantly that it is rare to get to have both.  You can make money OR be happy.  You can have a family OR have a job you like.

I have a dream... to write the words

More and more people are choosing not to have families, or to delay having families.  I am running out of time.  Granted I am only thirty, but women in my family have a history of early menopause.  My Grandmother was done by the time she was  40.  That give me a rough estimate of 10 years to have my family.  The pressure is on, and there is no starting line in sight right now.  It seems like I am not the only one in this kind of situation, birth rates are down in the US, and I am pretty sure that the economy is the #1 culprit for that. 

Do you find yourself in a similar place?  What would you do?  Say fuck all and write?  I mean I get that the whole starving artist is supposed to be sexy and trendy, but starving is not sexy, ever.  Ugh!  Help me out with advice in the comments!

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