My favorite season. Here in the Finger Lakes region of New York, warm weather doesn't last long. I prefer 80 degrees Fahrenheit and warmer. Snow depresses me. And yet, it snows eight months out of the year here. So, yeah, I'm only happy from mid-June to mid-September. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real problem for many of us here. We pop Vitamin D pills like candy, but the crummy mood remains an issue. But it's nearly July, so I am actually in better spirits.
I know I was supposed to be writing about my journey as someone who quit their job and lived happily ever after. But one thing I learned: People don't like people who are free from work responsibilities. Even when said person isn't living the high life and instead watches their savings dwindle down to nothing. Which leads to the second thing I learned: Without a clear path, it's next to impossible to make a living as an artist.
So, while my bank account became leaner, remarks from snarky "friends" became more prevalent. Everyone expected me to have time to help them, seeing as I "wasn't working." Few people considered my time valuable, refusing to believe writing was anything more than a pleasurable pasttime.
So let's fast forward from the time I started this blog to now. I certainly have achieved a lot...I was able to finish writing two books and started up an art career. But I needed to go back to work. I was spending wayyyyy more money than I was making. Which, by the way, wouldn't have paid for a donut at the grocery store. I was able to spend time with my family and friends. I could complete housework and get my yard tidied on a regular basis.
But I was looking at a future with very little retirement savings.
Dang that type of future and my anxiety surrounding it. After all, I am no spring chicken. And certainly not the goose the lay the golden egg. Sorry about the fowl language, haha. Oh Lord, cut me off from this coffee now. My point is, I had to return to a full time job.
And so, I found a job at a financial firm as, basically, an assistant to financial advisors. I'm the one backstage, making the show run smoothly. It is not a creative career. In fact, I sit eight hours a day, typing, making phone calls, and conducting trades. Let me emphasize: I SIT ALL DAY.
When I get home, I make the kids dinner, get in some exercise, attempt to clean up a little. Not only is there very little time to write, I don't feel like looking at a computer screen and typing away on a keyboard. You can imagine how unproductive I've been since I started working last year.
I'm trying to shift that now. I've been searching for a literary agent again. I'm working on a writing prompt book. I'm trying to sell a few "low content" notebooks. My artwork is for sale on a variety of items through Redbubble.com. And I will be selling original pieces at the Clothesline Festival this Fall at the Memorial Art Gallery.
I am also planning to start a YouTube channel. I have been teaching creative writing classes again (a second job...yikes!) and I want to be able to bring my instruction to a variety of aspiring, fledgling writers. I have so much to share, and the energy to see it through. I'm finally excited about something again. (It goes without saying I am miserable at my day job.)
So, I will update with news about my new channel and my latest book, which I hope to complete by the end of August. It is, after all, summer. I am in my happy place when it coms to the weather. I have a few good months in me until I fall into that deep, dark depression when the days are short and cold. Been a "creative" is difficult. We feel so much more than the average person who doesn't live and breathe artistic expression. So, if we take that time off to find our passion again, don't hate us. Don't be envious. Don't be angry. We do it because if we don't, we lose ourselves.
Oh, and the last thing I have learned: Talent, skill, and hard work does not always equal financial gain.