Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The "Oh my God, what am I doing with my life?" moment

I'm into the forth edit of Devil in the Clouds now and having an insecure writer's moment. I re-read over all the lines, re-edited now but they began during NaNoWriMo 2012. I've been working on this particular book for over a year and it's still not ready for public consumption. Will it ever be? 

In the great scheme of things, I do consider myself a writer, now. It took a while to finally admit it when that dreaded question would eventually arise when meeting new people "So, what do YOU do?". Butterflies would immediately start thundering round my abdomen, palms sweaty, gaze shifty. Oh, the pain of getting those words out!

Now, they come easier. Of course, the inevitable questions that follow are still as painful as ever. Do you know, I even get asked how much I make!? I would never dream of asking anyone that. Even with my closest friends, I would only have a vague idea of what they make, but it's none of my business anyway!

For me, writing isn't about making money. It's about finally doing what I love. Disappearing into different worlds/lives and molding them into a story. Yes, it is very much a form of escapism. Just like reading. For a few hours, I can disappear into a life where I can imagine anything I want. What job could be better than that?

But then, something at the back of my mind whispers "Is this really what you SHOULD be doing?". Should I be pursuing a path with the great possibility of no reward? Should I be working a "normal" job, 9-5, Monday to Friday? Should I be buying a house? Isn't that what everyone SHOULD do when they reach adulthood?

If I keep on my path, there are no guarantees for a steady wage, ability to get a mortgage or be insurable under the job title of 'writer'. Do I continue? When is it time to give up my dream job? This year? Next year? Twenty years?

Sometimes I tell the voice to shut up, but she does talk a lot of sense. It's not always easy to ignore reasonable doubts about my current career. But, I wonder, would I be able to quit now? I'm not sure that will be such an easy decision to make. 

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