Three big things happened to me in November. One, I got a part-time job (HALLELUJAH!), two, I got an internship, and three, NaNoWriMo. This means that I had very little spare time to dedicate to creative pursuits, and what hours I could find here and there in the middle of the night were spent writing. It was this that gave me the perspective I needed. Life became a blur of distractions, and so I could only make time for Top Of The List most important things. Living in such a way was how I made my list. It wasn’t a matter of conscious choices. Rather, it was, “I have thirty two minutes before I have to leave, so I’ll do what seems right.” Doing what seemed right meant I did a lot more writing. I find this to be reassuring because it confirms what I knew all along. Writing is my passion. Art and game design are slightly lesser passions. While I like that I can combine them, especially as a selling tool, I am now more certain than ever that writing is the core of my purpose.
Of course, writing on its own is not a career. Even the Steven Kings and Terry Pratchetts and JK Rowlings of the world are salespeople as well as writers. Agent or no agent, publishing house or self-publisher, you can’t make a living unless you’re getting an awful lot of people to buy what you write. I knew this is where I would have trouble, and so that’s why I got caught up in sales. I wasn’t writing enough, and I was spending too much time chasing down publishing houses over my books and animation studios over my cartoon and so on. The realization that I was getting sidetracked is a huge step forwards. Before, I was mentally wandering, knowing I was supposed to figure something out but not being able to put the question into words. I have it now. Here is my question.
“How can I make a living while living my passion?”
And as soon as I put that into words, I realized, that’s the essential question that all progeeks are trying to answer. So, where to now?
Goal for December: Find some people who have managed to earn a decent living while doing something “artsy” and ask them how they did it. The arts have been around for ages so SOMEONE must have figured out how to sustain it. Also, I am going to keep writing every day. My new motto is “no excuses required” (as I’m the sort of person who needs an excuse TO write, instead of not to write). If creating things is my purpose, then to not create something each day is a waste of that day.
Also, one last thing. I’m super happy that I figured it out within the year. It would be so embarrassing to do these entries for a year and not come up with anything that constitutes a flying leap forward.