Is it Okay to be Sad When You're Living Your Dream?
Yes - the answer is definitely yes!
But let me expand. I will never not be grateful for the opportunity to write full time. It is something I have always dreamed of doing and I've listened when people say 'if you do something you love you'll never work a day in your life'. The trouble with statements like that is they are absolute nonsense. If you do something you love I guarantee that for most people that means working twice as hard as you did in your 9-5. Because it's precious and you are 100% invested in making work.
I love writing and I love the knowledge that people have read my words and enjoyed them. I was beyond thrilled when I saw readers and book bloggers put my book on their top 12 of 2021. And when I was nominated for A Crime Fiction Lovers award I was elated.
There's also a lot more than writing when you're self published like I am - I chose this route so that I could have total control, but the flip side of that coin means wearing a lot of hats. Some of these fit better than others and some require me to learn new skills quickly.
Just like any job it's only one part of my life, and like everyone else in the world I have multiple things going on in my non writer life and these impact me in the exact same way they would regardless of what job I'm doing.
Writing is a particularly solitary job, my friend and fellow crime author Jason R Vowles mentioned this on instagram a few weeks ago. I hugely value the online community that I'm part of. I've made some absolutely amazing friends and gained masses of support.
You might have heard people talk about 'imposter syndrome' this is where you basically feel like a fraud - I'm pretty sure all writers feel this way at some point in their career. We spend a long time creating a book - (you can find out just how long in my previous blog https://www.angelacnurse.com/post/how-long-does-it-take) then we send them out into the world, some people will love our work and some people will hate it. And if you don't like something that's okay but please, please, please don't tag the author in your review or message them to tell them. It's not helpful or kind or necessary. Write a bad review if you must and then move on.
Deciding to take some time to write full time was a huge decision for me and my husband - and it was a decision we needed to make together, because before I was made redundant I had a regular monthly income, a pension plan - etc. And now I am using my redundancy payment to fund my dream in the hopes that my earnings will get to a level that helps support my household before that money runs out.
I said at the beginning - I am so happy that this is my day job - it is truly the situation that I have dreamt of all my life and when I open up my word file later today and continue working on my current book I'll take a moment to enjoy the fact that I'm no longer trying to squeeze this in during my lunch break. That I feel like I'm where I belong.
When all is said and done I am happy most of the time, which is why I feel like it is so important to acknowledge that no matter what you do, you get to be sad, anxious, depressed or even have a bad day or week. It's okay - you don't have to feel guilty - being kind to yourself is one of the best things you can do for your creativity in my opinion. You can love your job and have a bad day, no ones life is perfect (no matter what social media posts try to make you believe) .
I love my job, I have a good life and it is okay for me to not be okay sometimes. So in answer to my original question - yes a million times yes.