Sometimes I think about what my perfect life would be like. Obviously, it wouldn’t be perfect, nothing ever is, but a life I would enjoy.
In my practical fantasies, I would be an English professor at one of my alma maters, where I would teach literature and creative writing classes. Hopefully I would inspire a student or two the way my favorite professors have inspired me. My writing would be doing well in terms of creative productivity and sales. I would be able to afford a small but comfortable house complete with room for my books and my dogs. Nothing big, probably older to ensure it has some charm.
My ideal life would be very similar. Maybe I would be a professor but maybe I wouldn’t have to teach classes to pay my bills. I would be able to write full-time and teach if I wanted to. On days when I needed to get out of the house to write, I would take the train into New York and spend the day at the Metropolitan Museum or the New York Public Library. I would have the freedom to visit other writers or the city on a whim, to get inspiration from art or historical places without worrying about the logistics or feeling guilty for taking some time for myself. My books would be successful, and my name would be up there with the other well-known steampunk and historical fantasy writers. Every few months, I would attend a convention or book event, and maybe even speak at a few panels about fantasy, the Victorian era, self-publishing, or writing in general. My social anxiety would decrease after speaking so often, and I would be able to do this without going into hiding for a week after.
I am well aware that all of this is a pipe dream, and it will probably never happen. What I really want is to be able to put my writing in the forefront rather than having to fight to give it the time it deserves. Right now, I have classes to attend and do work for (mainly writing), and as soon as I am done with that, I need to worry about getting a “real” job. It’s a constant worry that I won’t have time to write and it will fall aside, lost to the black hole that is “adulthood.” This sucks, and I refuse to do it. I would rather live in a box (or my parents’ house) than give up on my dreams for a decent paycheck. One of my ultimate dreams would be to finish more than one book a year or at least have a book and a half ready by the end of each year. A part of me says it’s doable. The practical half says to get a job I hate that pays enough that my parents won’t scoff and deal with the lack of time that will probably drive me mad. Then, I’ll go postal and lose my job. Well, on the upside, I probably would be able to write then.
3 thoughts on “My Hypothetical Life”
Having a passion means making a sacrifice or two. If you are passionate about writing, this means finding the time to write every day, even if it is just for half an hour. This is doable, even if you do have a full-time job. You might not have the lovely old house, but a house filled with books is always a home. As for writing friends and conferences … here we all are, in the virtual world.
Success isn’t a monetary value! You have this blog and people are reading it. You are already a successful writer.
I completely agree about success not being monetary. It just drives me crazy when other people seem to obsess about it when I’m happy having a few readers who I know look forward to my work and other writers who are happy to hear of each other’s successes. I’m definitely passionate about writing. It’s the only thing I have ever cared about or done consistently, and to stop makes me feel like I’m going crazy.
Writers need to writer the same way a salmon need to swim and a swallow needs to fly.