It's been a rough couple of weeks. I don't want to go into details, but last week was a really horrible one for both Brandi and I, and money (or rather, the lack of it) is – as it is for most of us these days, I presume – at the root of our troubles. It was so bad that I spent the long weekend gorging on forbidden carbohydrates and vegging in front of the television, watching DVDs of old television shows – even more than usual, I mean.
Sunday was the only good day of the batch – though I still consumed junk food in grotesque quantities – as Brandi and I joined some friends in Bangor for an afternoon and evening of old school (2nd Edition) Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. It was fun, and I found that role playing my character – a no-nonsense hardboiled thief – to be rather cathartic, especially when I threatened to slit the throat of one of my own party for acting like an idiot. My wife was actually worried that I wasn't acting! I contend that I was.
As of today, I'm dieting again, will be making uncomfortable phone calls to try and wrest some control back from our financial demons, and endeavoring to buckle down and write. I have a lot of stuff I've committed to do; the problem is motivating myself to do it. None of it actually pays anything, and I'm finding that fact to be discouraging and disruptive to my powers of concentration. I keep taking non-paying work with the theory that the more stuff I have published, the more editors and publishers will want to offer me writing assignments that pay. So far, though, all it's done is attract editors & publishers that want me to write for free.
I know that there are hordes of unpublished, aspiring writers who'd kill for some of these opportunities. And I am grateful that people like my work and actually publish it. But I'm getting older – my hair is silvering rapidly – and working for free isn't so attractive anymore.
I've been contemplating getting a new "real job," but...there's this recession thing, maybe you've heard of it? My training and experience is in publishing – and the publishing industry's on life-support as it is; nobody's hiring. My health issues make the prospect of retail or manual labor gigs pretty much untenable. Freelance writing and/or editing are my only real options, and I've been spectacularly unsuccessful at making those pay.
That frustration vented, I'll be getting back to work today, and will fulfill these obligations, and will probably take on more. I may not be a particularly good, productive, or reliable writer... but it's all I got going.
I will persevere.