Back to work today, and back to teaching tomorrow. I feel sure that all of my students were thrilled to have a day off. I would have enjoyed the time more if my head had been clear.
I have been pondering a question about writing lately, “What if I wrote for a living?” Most writers and other artists don’t write or paint, or create their art of any variety full-time. In fact almost every writer and artist I know has a full-time “day job.” You know the thing we do to pay the rent.
When I first met my husband twelve years ago he would ask people he met, “What do you do?” Now he didn’t mean, “What is your day job?” He meant, “What do you do…what drives you…what do you love?” Most would answer this question with, “I insert day job here.” At the time, my husband wrote poetry. After years of marriage, kids, and life happening his writing has fallen by the wayside. This often happens to artists in our culture. It is easy to get caught up in the “day job,” the kids, the wife/husband, boyfriend/girlfriend, etc. Leaving our creative side along the way for the pursuit of the American Dream.
As I see it, the American Dream has evolved. Even in the face of an economic down-turn it seems there are more and more people willing to live simply to fulfill their dreams of writing, illustrating, etc. Even those with families are making a living on less in order to enjoy life more.
One thing I have learned while raising a family, going to school, and working several jobs at once…don’t give up. I have a long way to go before I can pay the bills with my poetry. I may never get there, but I can try. Perhaps I will be able to find work teaching as my “day job” and work on publishing while I am at it. Who knows. I have to say, I am thankful for all that I have. Day job and all. I am going to work at it, and be the best wife/mother/poet/teacher/editor/friend/sales person I can be. That is all any of us can do.