WEDNESDAY, 9 FEBRUARY 2011
A state of emergency has ruled my life for the past five years. This existential condition dictates that I should … that I need … that I am absolutely obliged to first make money before I can afford to spend any serious time on my writing again. This implies that writing is a luxury I cannot afford in a time of emergency.
Well, I think it has become painfully clear that the state of emergency is not working. So, I am going to let it go. (Or do I need the state of emergency to get myself to do something that may eventually make money? I think: No.)
What does it mean in practical terms? It means for my first shift of the day, from after breakfast to dinnertime, I am going to work on writing projects. Second shift, after dinner to bedtime: business, including English classes.
I have a good idea what I should do with my business projects. But if these projects require so much work that I don’t have time for anything else, it will mean I am biting off too much. In such a case I will simply have to pay other people to do some of the work. If I can’t afford to do that, I’ll have to let it go.
Fact is, without my writing, I am just a guy trying his best to make money. Sometimes this guy fails, and sometimes he succeeds. And the rest of the time he reads his history books and he watches TV. Is this me? Maybe in five years’ time, in all honesty, or ten. But I will be doomed, if not damned as well, if I allow my writing to go to waste.
“But you do work on your writing – kind of,” my imaginary interlocutor of many years might say.
Not really, I’ll answer. The bits of work that I do now and then can be compared to the dry crusts and bones someone feeds to a dog under the table. It’s not enough. It’s not enough to keep a dog that is supposed to be on guard alive.
I don’t choose my writing above attempts to make money, or as I like to call it, “business”. I choose both. I know what I have to do. I am doing it. I don’t have to worry about it all the time. And I certainly don’t have to believe that I have to impress some money god with how hard I try.
I repeat: I know what I should do; I am already doing it; and I will continue to work on it six days a week. But the time has come to give more attention to something that goes beyond just money.