All my life I’ve wanted two things: to write and to travel. You’d think being a travel writer would be a natural fit, right? Instead, I attached myself to romance as a teen and haven’t looked back. Everything I’ve ever written for pleasure, other than one short screenplay, has been geared toward romance. This doesn’t mean I’ve stopped wanting to travel. Just that I need to find a different way to combine my interests.
So, here’s what I’d like to do: write romance full time and live in hostels around the globe for six months a year, and at home the rest of the year. Doesn’t sound so difficult, right? It’s straightforward and it gets me everything I want. Problem is, it’s pretty darned difficult to make a livable wage writing erotic romance. With the flooded market and ebook piracy rampant, it’s nigh near impossible to break in at that level while working at another full time job. Or so some of my friends tell me.
Here’s the question I pose to myself several times a day without finding an answer: How do I get what I want? How do I make a livable wage writing full time with the goal of also traveling? I love writing romance. I can’t imagine my life without it. I’m in a day job that, while I’m lucky to have it and while I adore the people I work with, is not remotely what I’d like to do 40 hours a week. The vacation time also isn’t enough for me to take more than a few jaunts here and there every couple years and still have time left over for the other stuff we all need to do.
In some ways, I feel like a “failure to launch” drifting through life, never quite being good at my career because I long to be doing something else. Never enjoying where I am because of where I want to go. I’m tired of that. I want to enjoy what I have and where I am. Problem is, the desire for the things I love keeps me yearning. Travel and writing. I don’t want to do them in quarter or half measures any longer. It’s just not enough. Only full immersion will do and nothing else triggers the “happy”.
Perhaps I’m ungrateful. Perhaps I’m just a whiner. I’m fairly certain there’s a dollop of each in my dissatisfaction. Knowing this, however, doesn’t make the desire to live the life I’ve always dreamed lessen. The search for this life is truly what keeps me up at night and what eats at me when I’m not plotting my newest story on my way to work in the morning.
I’m betting I’m not any different from all the other authors who have day jobs. We want to have the time to spend on our craft. We want to be appreciated and dedicate ourselves to the creative pursuit which makes our soul come alive. We’re always chasing after the next moment of creative bliss and looking for the next chunk of time when we can devote ourselves completely to that place inside ourselves where we truly become ourselves.
Somehow, I have to figure out how to let the journey toward the goal be enough. Nothing else is guaranteed; so little in life ever is.