July 27, 2014

The day job

For the past month I've been freelancing in advertising. Years ago I tried to make a career in advertising when I didn't know how to do what I really wanted to do, which is write. Now I do it to pay the bills. I can say this freely and unabashedly without losing a potential gig because the people who hire me already know this. They knew it before I did.

Freelancing has been a wonderful tool as I navigate through this current chapter of life -- the one about becoming a full-time author. Advertising has been the bane of my existence and the blessing. I don't love the industry, and often question the moral and ethical aspects of it, but I've been doing it a long time and do my job pretty well -- and there is always work. This last opportunity came up when I was in the middle of my first draft for the third book. At first I wasn't going to take the gig because I've been struggling with my writing (third person is a challenge for me), but seeing the dollar sign got the wheels spinning. Money does have a sorta magical zing to it, doesn't it?

Here's my mantra with regards to money and cultivating my creative life: 1) The more money I make, the less time I spend in advertising and 2) The less money I spend, the less time I spend in advertising.

The common denomenator?

Pretty obvious, huh?

Spending less time in advertising.

So I took the gig because I wanted the money -- I didn't need the money, which is a blessing in itself (go back to rule #2 if you want to know why I didn't need the money).

The work has been interesting and the people great. I've been chatting with other authors, two who are currently working on their novels, and another who's launching his second this winter. We're everywhere, chilling in the shadows, waiting for our big break so we can quit the day job.

The gig ends in three days and then it's back to full-time writing (some of you may have heard a sigh of jubilation). Since I only had an hour here or an hour there to write, I'm at the point where I'm desperate to get back to it. The job not only provided me with more money to spend less time in advertising, but it reinvigorated my desire to finish this draft. There's something to be said about having the thing you love being removed from your daily routine. I want it back!

And I'm gonna love it and hug it and pet it and squeeze it.

Just like this:

Keep writing. It saves lives.