We creatives have perfect lives. We get up in the morning and make ourselves a cup of French roast coffee, then sit down in our underwear and blissfully pound out 5,000 golden words in our next masterpiece. By that time it’s just past lunch so that we can get together with our other glamorous friends to plot and discuss our last six-figure royalty check. Finally, dinner rolls around and we order something fabulous to go with the expensive bottle of chardonnay we’ve been chilling.
You know that’s bullshit, right?
No kittens, I’m afraid it isn’t like that at all. Most people in any creative field will tell you that this life isn’t for the faint of heart. You’ll likely never be super-famous. You’ll likely never be completely financially stable. Most of us have day jobs and obligations and soccer practices just like everyone else. To prove it to you, I’ve compiled a little glimpse into a day with Lexx.
7:30am: My alarm goes off for the final time after my husband Tally has attempted to beat it to death. I roll out of bed and into the bathtub. Mind you, this is the bathtub with the hole we’ve been fixing with epoxy for two years.
8:30am: I clock in at my dayjob as the jury coordinator for my county. That’s right, when you get pulled for jury duty, I’m the one you call and shout at. I begin answering calls with fairly lame excuses almost as soon as I walk in the door, in addition to helping folks with their court-related questions (What time is court? I forgot to pay this traffic ticket from two years ago and now they want to suspend my license. How much is my fine? I got served with a paper that I’m going to be coy and mysterious about so that you have to guess how to help me.). I put in my eight hour day at work. In between I try to get some words down (usually about 1000) and take care of marketing stuff (newsletter, social media, organizing events, researching ad space, writing blog posts– guess where I’m writing this).
5:00pm: I get home finally. Unless I have some other stuff planned (writers’ group “shenanigans” is on Thursdays, friends’ book signings, etc.), I try to sit down and decompress a little. I read books that I’m reviewing or beta reading, read for pleasure, play with my dog, peruse Facebook, or even nap.
6:00pm: The dear husband gets home and we cook dinner, do some laundry, clean up a bit, and finally manage to sit down and eat something.
7:00pm- 12:00am: I write, or try to write. That is not to say that I don’t get distracted. I have some shows I watch faithfully and often livetweet (@LexxxChristian on Twitter if you’re interested), but I try to write on either my WIP or sometimes blog posts if I need to catch up. I sometimes use this time to load up Hootsuite or create graphics for promotion.
When my day is done, I often drift off to sleep thinking about all the writing projects that I didn’t finish.
The point of all this is: don’t go into writing or any other artistic field thinking that it’s going to be an easy way to make money. Trust me, it isn’t. This dayjob is what pays my bills. I write because I love it. I write because I need to get the words out. I write because I need to escape. It isn’t glamorous, but it’s what I was born to do.