09 February 2009

Art Under Pressure

Five months ago, I took a vow of going-into-debt, and allowed myself space and time to get back in touch with my inner writer. I highly recommend doing something similar if you're at all able to. This time has been absolutely invaluable to me. I've remembered all the reasons why I wanted to do creative work in the first place. My bank account has a bit of a rash on it, but my shadow is in much better shape than it's been for a long, long time - maybe ever.

Now the six months is almost over, and I've got bills to pay. Although I was willing to play daredevil with my finances, it isn't fair to my partner to continue to draw on our mutual resources as heavily as I've been doing. And yeah, without him, I'd have had to place much stricter limits on the duration of this experiment.

Reality sux, my friends.

The nice thing, though, is that I now have some solid writing time under my belt. I feel much more legitimate in my claim on the name: I'm a writer. I have three short stories out on the market right now, and half a novel draft. And even though I'm looking at taking another teaching contract for the summer, I'm not giving up my dream for anything.

Now that I've fastened on it, I won't let go.

That's what five months of space and time have given me. Was it worth it? Hell yeah. Now I can move forward with some good, solid tools at my disposal. The ability to think more creatively about my life. The idea that there are options. A much better sense of how the craft of writing intersects with who I am right now, and my experience. And a solid plan for building a writing career: build portfolio, complete novel, find agent.

I couldn't have asked for more out of this time.

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