I love that I now write for a living. Full time. Full stop. Even just saying it makes me happy. If you missed this bit of news, last month I took the plunge and quit my day job. I am now home from 8 am to 2 pm with only my screen (and my dogs) in front of me, and yes, I make a living from it.
The living I make is in travel writing. I added to my freelance load and signed a new contract with family mega-site Trekaroo. I’m now the Editorial and Sponsorship Manager, in addition to being the outdoor family travel columnist at OutdoorsNW and staff writer at Go Green Travel Green and Practical Travel Gear. And yes, I am still founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids. None of this is a negative in and of itself, because I love travel writing. I’m blissfully happy writing about travel for seven hours a day, every day. But.
It doesn’t leave much time for creative writing. In fact, I haven’t written one word on my current novel-in-draft in four weeks. Between actually traveling and writing about travel, managing editorial and meetings with travel brands and PR companies, I simply have nothing left. I don’t know whether this is a bad thing or an ok thing.
I still have two fulls out for The Novel that Won’t Die. They’ve been out for a long time, and I don’t feel good about it. It feels too long. And that novel is so polished, so ready, that I don’t know where to go from here. Other than to start over with the next. Which is stuck at the 10,000 word mark, treading water, while I write about everything else under the sun.
I don’t know what is to be done. I suppose it is what it is. Honestly, novel writing feels like a mountain that can’t be moved right now. And just so recently, I felt I had such momentum. That’s what happens in this world of creative fiction that’s so often self-driven: you’re in solitary. There is so little outside stimulation. No paycheck awaits. No editor has given you a deadline. If it weren’t for writing group, you’d be in complete isolation. All motivation must come from within. And you can only be pushing to that finish line for so long. You can’t keep it up indefinitely. So I suppose I’m on the sideline for a while, taking a breather. I am doing what I’m doing, the novels are doing what they’re doing, and what can I do about it?
Other creative writers, want to chime in? How do you stay motivated? How do you know when to stop beating a dead horse and saddle up the next?