I haven’t posted since April, mostly because I’ve had some incredible personal and professional changes happening in my life.
First off, I found a new job in an entirely different career field. In April I applied for a position as a Content Writer with a small yet mighty marketing and advertising firm. I got the position and today marked the 90th day of my new job. It’s been a sometimes daunting, often challenging, but always rewarding experience.
I have to say I absolutely love my job. There are times I am frustrated and even panicked, but at the end of the day everything works out. I spend my time writing all day, every day. And I get paid to do it. It’s pretty much a dream come true for me, because I’ve always wanted to be a full-time, working writer.
I walked away from a 14 year teaching career. While I am still adjusting to working a 9 to 5 schedule, I have entirely no regrets. I was burned out, underappreciated, and tired of being responsible for the students’ shit. In my current position, I am only responsible for one person’s shit — my own — and that is a mighty relief.
In landing a new job, it meant I had to move to the Big City ™, uprooting myself from friendships, relationships, and an apartment I had had for over a decade. A huge change, to say the least. Again, I have no regrets. I found an absolutely charming apartment near a gorgeous park in the Big City. I currently walk to work every day, which I very much love.
On the writing front, all of these changes did mean I put my novel on hold for about a month. Between commuting for work, packing, and then moving, I simply had no time or energy to write. It was a necessary break. I’ve gotten back in the saddle over the past few weeks. I used to write two hours every day, but that was when I had more control over my schedule as a college instructor. Now, with a 9 to 5 job, I can squeeze in an hour a day. So I do and I make the most of my time. I haven’t really explored writing groups in the Big City yet, but that will come.
The other night I reached 40,000 words in my novel, which is about a quarter of the way through. So good progress has been made. I don’t expect I will finish a first draft this year, but next year I will have it done.
It’s been a demanding book to say the least. I’m juggling four primary first person narrators and doing a lot of complex world building. But it’s been a fantastically wonderful book to write too. It’s been amazing getting to know the people of the story and to build the world they live in. The writing itself has pushed me to bring my proverbial “A-game” as a writer and not to be sloppy. My new job actually helps with this. My supervisor is very rigorous and demanding. I find myself being actively challenged as a writer for the first time in years and it’s refreshing. And it’s begun to show in my original fiction, because I’m forcing myself to do better than I previously thought I could.
All and all, I think things are going pretty well. I am looking forward to the rest of the year; to exploring the Big City and all its opportunities, to continuing to work on my novel, and to publishing some short fiction.