Writing has always been my end game. I never wanted children or my day job to be my legacy. I don’t see myself making something lasting out of working in social media marketing. What I want out of life is to create a world of stories that lives on after me. I want someone to pick up my book on a shelf (or pull it up on whatever tablet we are using in the future) and read my words, maybe even become inspired by them, or just lose themselves in it. I want someone to feel about my world how I feel when I read Tolkien.
This is no small feat. Writing takes more time than people think. It is a job in and of itself, which is why many of us work all day and then write all night. There are a lot of sacrifices to be made and I personally, have made many. Maybe they aren’t life altering, earth-shattering sacrifices, but they are noticeable and necessary to get the job done.
When thinking about writing an article on this, I thought to myself, “Would I actually be writing this post if it weren’t for quarantine?” This pandemic has given me a lot of free time which I turned into writing time. I have no commute. I work-out at home now. I work my day job at the same spot I write at. I wonder to myself, Would I have persisted in making these small sacrifices if I had a normal commute and normal job? Or would I have been too tired after work from a commute and just melted into a video game? Would I have said no to Thursday Happy Hour with co-workers to go home and write or would I have given in for some human connection?
Right now, that is what I have given up the most; human connection. Granted, I have no gym, Krav Maga dojo, bars, concert venues, dance studios, etc. to go to for my normal human connection because of the pandemic, but there are definitely some other things I have stopped doing that I noticed.
I realize sometimes I hadn’t looked my parents in the eye for a whole day because I wake up, work, leave my office only for the bathroom or the kitchen, rush back in and immediately start writing after work. (To be fair, it is nice and cool in there, so why would I leave?!)
I continue to live with them, giving up independence that I crave more than anything, just so I can a. obviously save money like a responsible human being during the pandemic, but also b. use some of that saved money to market my stories and books, pay for my website, my newsletter, etc.
My co-workers have virtual happy hour on Thursdays now, which I don’t go to because on Thursdays I write for the hour I have between work and drum lessons and then come right home to work on it again.
I go to the beach alone all the time. I get the most reading done on the beach, and I have hours of quiet, uninterrupted brainstorming time. I relish in it and I love it, but sometimes I also realize in those times how much time I do spend alone that I under normal circumstances, don’t have to.
Almost every night I played Apex Legends with either friends or random people online. I haven’t in months. This is more significant than people realize! As a gamer who has a competitive game that they play religiously, that has levels, accolades, rewards, and timed events, I struggled for a while to tell myself that in reality, it doesn’t matter. It’s fun and it’s a good way to escape every now and then, but in truth it ate up a lot of my time at night that I now spend writing. Because what is my end game? To tell great, lasting stories.
Besides human connection, I have changed some things about myself. I don’t exercise as hard as I used to so that I don’t feel like passing out right after and can stay up later to write. I can feel that I’m not as strong anymore, and this will definitely change once it’s safe to go to gyms (whenever that will be!). In the meantime though, I do a lot of sitting…a lot. Which I don’t normally like to do, but I’m certainly not getting a standing desk!
I am eternally grateful that I am healthy, safe, and have the ability to not only work, but also have time to work on my books. I can’t begin to describe how lucky I feel. I want anyone reading this to know that the hustle and the things you give up are worth it. Nothing worth doing is worth doing half-assed. I am an all or nothing sort of person, and it’s okay to be that way when it comes to saying “no” to things. It’s okay to tell something, “not today, I’m writing”. The small things you give up now will be worth it in the end.
As always, thank you for taking the time to read my posts!
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