Monday, February 16, 2009

Holding on

I recently started a new job. It’s the exact opposite of my previous job: creative, collaborative, lots of work to do, friendly people. Hell, I’m not even in a cubicle, and the walls, they’re not tan. I spend my days feeling challenged and inspired and motivated. Granted, it’s only been two weeks, but so far, I kind of love it.

And yet. Every time I begin something new, every time I commit to doing something that isn’t The Exact Thing I Want to Be Doing With My Life (writing full-time, and for myself), whether I find myself enjoying it or not, I worry that instead of helping me, it will take me further away from my ultimate goal.

What if I love copywriting so much that my unfinished book continues to collect dust? What if “I’ll work on it next month when I have more time and energy” becomes next year becomes next decade becomes never? Liking my job has the potential to become an excuse, a way to justify complacency, a reason to not take the risks I need to take.

Ultimately, whenever I confront the practical vs. the meaningful, I always run smack into the same question: If you’re not currently doing something to work toward achieving your life’s goal, how can you still hold onto it?

Perhaps asking myself this question over and over again is my way of holding on.

1 comment:

Sam said...

Glad to hear you've found a suitably interesting/challenging job (I'm still a long way off).

I'm the same with wanting to achieve everything right now, and worrying that if I get side-tracked with other things my masterwork will get overlooked completely and the whole world will weep. But then, I try to step back from my self-obsession and try to take a more measured (ie: patient) approach to it all.

How old are you? I'm sure there's still ample time for your writing to morph into full-time fun. I know we all tend to want the glory straight away, but there are people out there who don't get to live their writing dream until later in life (and their work tends to be better for it).

Just um, don't have kids, as they'll take up too much time, or do the awful old fashioned thing and hook up with some rich benefactor who will bestow upon you both the time to write and a jazzy library/writing room. That's what my boss tells me to do, but I think I'm going to cling on to my independence (and integrity) and wait it out.

And in the meantime, enjoy your job whilst you're in a position to do so! Some of us are still answering phones and stuffing envelopes...