I feel a little sad this evening. After teaching yesterday, I actually had what many people would consider a productive day. It involved an early morning trip to the gym and then hour after hour of handling a variety of projects in my freelance life. I sat in on a 45-minute conference call for one of my corporate clients, did some social media work, and wrote two newsletter articles and a 700-word blog post. I also designed and posted the activities for an online Expository Writing class (in lieu of an in-class meeting scheduled for the afternoon before Thanksgiving when I knew most of the students won’t show up), reviewed the syllabus I’ve been using and created a handout for the next class assignment.
These activities pay my bills. And some of them, of course, are certainly interesting and absorbing. Completing them gives me a sense of relief as I keep my eye on the deadlines that seem to constantly blink on my radar. Each time one deadline gets checked off the list, a new one takes its place.
None of these activities, however, are creative writing. And although a few times today my mind drifted toward an essay I’ve been working on and turned over some ideas, and I also began to consider an approach for a new piece, I haven’t yet taken the time to write. I just looked at the clock and realized that it’s after 5 p.m. Although I still have some time before my husband gets home (and the evening turns into conversations about the day and dinner) my mind is simply fried. My eyes hurt from staring at the computer screen. I don’t know if I will have the energy to “get creative.”
I logged onto Facebook for a moment (a big mistake if you want to concentrate on writing) and I saw the joyous post of one of my Facebook friends, a novelist: “Chapter 31 — Delivered!”
And I felt sad.
Now I’m sitting at my desk writing this blog post, trying to sort through this issue and these feelings. I have been struggling for a while between financial pressures and the desire to pick up more work to relieve them, and my feelings about being a writer. I know that one day when I look back on my life, I will regret the creative words not written more than almost anything else.
I think now that writing this blog post has helped. Internet — off. Writing — on.