Having a life outside of work is really, really hard when work is your life.
I am discovering this.
My whole aim in the last seven years has been to get my writing off the ground. I applied only for jobs that would give me time to write, avoided dating relationships because they took up too much of my time, and basically scheduled my life around ‘writing time’.
Now, I have a job as a scriptwriter. And I write all the time, every day.
This was the goal.
It was definitely, definitely the goal, and I am so, so excited to get paid to write instead of working dead-end jobs with strange hours to support my dream.
But working as a scriptwriter means that my entire life, from the moment I wake up in the morning to the moment I fall into bed, revolves around words and story structure and character motivation and how many words I can pump out before my eyes cross. Because, of course, my own writing is still important to me. My books aren’t published yet, and some of them have yet to be finished. This blog, too, is still one of my passions—mostly because I love ya’ll—and it takes a lot of work to keep it moving.
So I am learning to find a balance between my dreams, my wonderful, challenging, brilliant job, and actually having a life that doesn’t revolve around words and how many times I can spell ‘definitely’ before it starts looking wonky.
Spoiler: it’s not very many times.
Weekend adventures are great—when I can resist the temptation to forgo them in favor of slamming out 2000 words on my current project. Because, yes, as much as I write now, I still very much love to write. Doing it on a schedule hasn’t dulled that love.
I’ve been looking at several ‘hobby’ projects to work on lately. Something to give me a feeling that life isn’t all about my word count. My sister and I have begun a habit of reading a book together in the evenings. We’re working through Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke right now. It’s one of my favorites.
Another possibility that I’ve been thinking about is diction classes, either online or actually in person, which would be terrifying. I’ve thought about doing a podcast for this blog for a long time, and one of my dreams is to—eventually, in the very distant future—teach writing techniques at conferences and workshops. Which is proof that your dreams for the future do not have to match up with your skills at the present, as long as you are willing to learn.
(That dream is a secret, by the way. Don’t tell.)
But, for both of those activities, I would need to be able to speak as well as I can write, which, unfortunately, is not a reality right now. Something to think about, eh?
Any advice on how to find a hobby that gives me a little relief from word counts? I’d love to hear about it!