Let’s just admit this up front: I can be an envious person. I am envious of people who can retire. I am envious of people who can retire and never have to work again. I am envious of people with glossy hair. I am envious of people who don’t feel the need to count calories yet can eat massive quantities of chocolate. Should I go on?
No. But one thing I am not envious of, and have come to terms with, is that I will probably never be a person who just writes for a living. There is a rare breed, the people who have hit it big and the hustlers who make it happen. I would love to be able to write more. I have not written word one on my Alaska memoir in months. Why? Because I have been busy living.
That’s not to imply that full time writers don’t live. I know they do. But for me, a steady of diet of sit-on-butt and stare at computer just doesn’t work. Besides the need for a full time job, I need to be moving. I need to run and backpack and bicycle. I need to see friends. I need to play with the kitten. All of these things seriously put a dent into my writing. I know if I were more disciplined, I could tell myself to stay in on a weekend to write and not go backpacking. But it comes down to what is important.
Writing is important but it is not the end of all things. Maybe I could be a best selling author by now if I felt differently. Who is to say? There’s a saying bantered about in my workplace about “resiliency” (the new buzzword) and “work/life balance.” I’m not sure how sincere it is (because could I really get three months off if I said I needed more work/life balance? I think not). However, I do believe in the concept. While most of my writing is pleasureable, it’s still imprisonment by computer. An outdoors person can only take so much of that.
I used to be related by marriage to someone who had a single focus. Everything he did revolved around that one thing. To me, a life like that is bland and colorless. I want all the things!
So while I wish I were writing more, I can’t give anything else up long enough to do it. Winter is coming, and that will be my writing time. Not in precious summer.