I've spent the evening working on a piece I've been trying to nail down for awhile. Every so often, I'll be chatting with a writer somewhere (anywhere), and I'll receive this tidbit of advice:
"Well, kidAmy, at some point, you have to ask yourself if you want to be a serious writer or if you want to live your life doing... I'm sorry, what the hell do you do for a living again*?"
This is often said by a member of the opposite sex - somewhat condescendingly - who is trying to dole out advice**. The condescension is my own fault, actually; I've often put on the costume of the beginner in an effort to chat up male writers I think I might want to marry*** someday.
"Oh, I would so love to write, how do you do it? My little brain couldn't handle the big ideas you come up with!" Shortly thereafter, I excuse myself to the washroom, where I punch myself in the face and then bitch about him on twitter. Being a fragile woman is hard.
At any rate, I was at work recently when I realized that maybe I didn't want to do this for the rest of my life. I believe someone was staring me in the face, waiting for me to answer a question as to why I hadn't completed their job that day. Don't get me wrong, I'm not handing in my resignation tomorrow (I really quite like my job), but I have resolved to complete the first draft of this novel in the next half year****.
This big decision was confirmed when I found myself giggling out loud at several Dilbert comics in a row*****.
*It's something vaguely paperworkish. With a cubicle, and friendly coworkers, and dickhead coworkers.
**And my decision to keep a roof over my head and food in the fridge is a decidedly unimpressive route.
****Lawrence Block bangs them out in four weeks, the hardworking, totally deserving bastard.
*****They're just like us! With his dog in the office, and his tie that never lays flat. Oh, that's our Dilbert. (I'm typing this, but my eyelids are saying "kill me" in morse.)