Saturday, February 09, 2008

Feeling the Doors Closing

When you’re young and in high school, it’s almost like you can do anything, be anything when you grow up. I remember I wanted to--believe it or not--go into the Air Force Academy for quite awhile. But then, at some point, I realized I couldn’t major in piano performance at the Air Force Academy, LOL. The choice was a no-brainer.

But, in high school, I was pretty good at all the subjects, so ... you remember that feeling? When the world was your oyster?

There was a short period of five months when I had a "real" job. The one lawyer suggested I go to law school. (But he had ulterior motives I didn’t know about ... damned corporate politics suck! He used my naivete to screw the two lawyers I loved, loved, loved -- another reason why spy fiction fascinates me.) It wasn’t at all tempting, but through my side jobs in college, I’d tried more and more to build up a resume and stuff.

And then, today, fifteen years later, I suddenly got this weird feeling. Like ... piano and writing, it’s all I know how to do. Some people want to quit their "real job," or look at making a living from writing or music as a dream.

But I just got this feeling this morning, I’m not doing a good job of explaining this, that just was a bit depressing. Writing and music are the only skill set I’ve got, these days. I’ve forgotten most everything else. And no way am I interested in going to school to develop another skill set.

It’s just, the possibility of a real job is pretty much nil, unless I want to work as a waitress. Not that I’m thinking of getting a real job, even though I dream about health and dental insurance.

So I don’t know where I’m going with this. Except, for some odd reason, I feel like a trick pony or something. I have to make music and writing profitable, because that’s all I’ve got. There’s no dream in it for me, although I enjoy a good fantasy now and then. The bottom line, though, is this is all I know. They’re my only decent options at the moment.

Anyway. Did I make enough sense for you guys to have any thoughts about the subject?

8 bonus scribbles:

Susan Helene Gottfried 2/09/2008 11:53:00 AM  

Yep, every now and then I freak out and think what would happen if the Tour Manager and I split up, or if I was without him. What the hell sort of job could *I* get?

And then I am thankful that I've got him, that we're fiscally savvy, and that I'd be okay, even with the kids.

But I get even more determined to buck the trends and make some bucks at this writing thing.

lainey bancroft 2/09/2008 12:42:00 PM  

Oh, Spy, that's so funny. My brain has been chugging along the same track lately. The majority of Gas' work is now contracts through builders, so business wise I can often go a week or more with little to do outside of the odd phone call. And I wondered if I wouldn't be better to get a part time job out of the house. But what to put on a resume. I've worked for my husband fifteen years?

And yes, it makes me more determined than ever to make this writing gig work out! 'Successful author' reads so much better than 'domestic engineer' ;-)

Zoe Winters 2/09/2008 02:39:00 PM  

nope Spy, I know EXACTLY what you mean. I feel the exact same way. Though truthfully I think it might be that way for most people. Even people who have a "real career" They pursued that career closing off options for others. When you become an architect you pretty much close the door on being an astronaut. Etc.

What we devote our time to becomes our lives and it's made all the more scary when that thing is art. Because art is such a fickle lover.

I've thought about going back to school before and opening up my options some more. The thing is, as much as the idea appeals to me, it also repulses me. The idea of going to "work for someone else" is something I really rail against as far as the "get an education and go off to do this" sense.

Though at the same time, when I need money, I'm left with the option of getting a crap job. I'm at a point where I'm not really sure what direction to go in.

Aimless Writer 2/10/2008 08:22:00 AM  

I've been doing everything except what I love. I always wrote stories. Many book length. It wasn't until I happened to mention to a friend a storyline I was working on and she asked if I was going to publish, did I ever consider it. I wrote to keep me sane while I worked the dronie jobs. Suddenly it hit me! I could get paid for this? Wow, what a concept.

spyscribbler 2/10/2008 11:46:00 AM  

Susan, that's a lonely thought. I know you can. I'd love to see Trevor in a book!

LOL, Lainey, it's true! It seems the more we focus, the narrower our opportunities get. Heck, I don't know, maybe I'm looking at things backwards.

Zoe, it's true! You're right. Maybe it's just the years passing, you know?

I do love that I can make my own money. I love that I'm not chained to a desk, that I get to sit and brainstorm ways to make more money.

Aimless, that doesn't sound fun. Dronie jobs, though, can be a great time to daydream up stories to write after work!

The Literary Prostitute,  2/10/2008 12:21:00 PM  

I haven't had a 'real job' in just over six years, but even when I was gainfully employed, I was teaching horseback riding lessons or tutoring or marketing credit cards. Now all I do is right, and I'm infinitely grateful for that.

I realized the other day, however, that I couldn't have a 'real job' if I wanted to. Health problems require that I take frequent breaks from the computer, and I think that working in an office or a store or a restaurant would kill me. Seriously. Thank God I can generate income other ways, because if I couldn't, I'd be living out of a cardboard box under a bridge somewhere.

Rather than focusing on the skills you don't have, I think it's important to continue creating value with the skills you do have. Obviously, you have talent, or you wouldn't generate a dime. I figure the less time I spend trying to develop new talents and skills, the more time I can devote to my passions in life.

Make sense?

The Literary Prostitute,  2/10/2008 12:22:00 PM  

Good Lord, I can't believe I did that. Should read: "All I do is write." Freudian slip, anyone?

spyscribbler 2/10/2008 12:48:00 PM  

LOL, Literary! I find that the more I write, the more I make little right/write kind of mistakes. I don't know why. I skip more words, too.

But you're right about the rest. And that's such a better way to look at it. I don't know why I was looking outward. It just struck me.