Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Love or Money

My mother once told me that people either have lots of time or lots of money, but usually not both.  It's something I used to think about when I worked at a law firm where vacations had to be squeezed in between deal closings. 

In fact, it was the time factor, not disciplinary measures published in the local bar journal, that played the biggest role in my retreat from the practice of law.  Quick aside here, disciplinary measures make up my husband's favorite bedtime reading material.  If he finds someone who acted in a particularly irresponsible way he'll even read it out loud.  I know.  I can tell you're wildly jealous of our romantic evenings but sorry to say, he's all mine!  The rest of you will have to find your own man to whisper sweet nothings, aka, disciplinary hearings into your ears. 

Okay, that wasn't such a quick aside.  Getting back to my mother's sage advice and my transition from corporate lawyer to writer.  From the outside looking in, being a writer sounds dreamy.  Work from home, be creative, wear flowy dresses while reading long passages out loud to an empty living room.  Like most things, the reality is a little different from the dream.  While I do work at home and get to make up stories, I'm discovering it can still be stressful.  There are the days when no words come to my head.  There are also the days when lots of words come to my head but they're for another book.  With the publication and impending print copy of Losing Beauty looming, there are publicity requirements.  My publisher wants to know how far I've gotten on Losing Hope and will there be a third book in the series and, if so, what's it called. 

I guess what I'm saying is nothing is perfect.  I love what I do and the flexibility of my schedule but there are trade offs.  I have to be disciplined and work hard, sometimes even on the weekends.  My salary as a writer is a fraction of a decimal point of what I made as a lawyer, but I get to make up stories, talk on-line and pick my kids up from school in the afternoon.  In a perfect world there would be enough hours to play, cook, entertain like Martha Stewart, exercise, write, and connect with the billions of people on the internet and I would be well compensated for all of this.  Except, I'm beginning to realize that no one has it all, which, come to think of it, was another one of my mother's favorite sayings.


Sarah Tokeley said...

You have a very wise mother :-)

Beylit said...

Reality never lives up to the dream. I think in the end everything is hard work and stressful at some point. Nothing is all picnics and cocktail parties.

But hey in the end it is worth it if we enjoy what we are doing, even if there are not enough hours in the day to do what we do and enjoy it.

Johanna Garth said...

Sarah-Yes, yes I do!

Beylit, wouldn't it be wonderful if reality lived up to the dream...or maybe it would be scary. Not sure which.

Abby Fowers said...

You mom was totally right. I've come to the conclusion that all you can really do is do what you love. If you're happy and you can keep your priorities at the top of your list then life is pretty good. Love this post. :)

Teresa Cypher said...

Yes, the business end of it is stressful :-) I wrote for several years (novels) before I even considered submitting to publishers. I kept telling everyone that "Writing is so much fun!" and it is...but wow, how it does a 180 when it comes to editing and trying to get it right. Especially hard since we (writers) tend to be our own toughest critics. Even so, I love that you love what you do, as do I. Now if I could find a way around those 40+ hours a week I spend working for someone else . Just kidding. I am blessed, I love what I do there too... Great post :-)

Johanna Garth said...

Priorities, priorities, absolutely Abby!

Teresa, I'm editing right now and urggh. Love the writing and free-flow part but it's a wee bit harder when I have to buckle down.