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06/24/2010

Contemplating Change

I had a dream the other night that I was pregnant with twins and I was quietly pleased about that turn of events. I'm forty-six years old. My children are grown. I love them to death, but I'm ready to be a grandma. I have no desire to be a mother again. I also no longer have the equipment necessary to make that fantasy a reality. Anyone that knows me is giggling right now, because quietly pleased is diametrically opposed to how I would really be feeling. Psychotically hysterical would probably be closer to the mark. So, I did a little research on dream interpretation. Really, a writer doesn't need much of an excuse to get on the internet and do research. But, I digress. Here's what I found.

A dream of pregnancy, if in the dream you are happy about it, generally means you are contemplating or considering changes in your life. Or that you've decided to move forward with something spiritual or artistic in your life. Okay then, let's take a look at that.

I am a carpenter by trade. I work as a scaffold builder in nuclear power plants. It's a job I love. I travel six or nine months a year and the rest of the time I'm home, writing or messing about in my garden. The work is physically demanding, but not stressful. The money's pretty good, and the people I meet and work with are a lot of fun. It's the best job I have ever had. But. Yes, there's always a but.

One of the things I love most about my job is the travel. I love living in other places for weeks or months at a time. It's fun to stay somewhere long enough to find the gems that only the locals know about. But the travel is the problem.

My father is no longer in great health, and for him to be alone for weeks or months at a time is troublesome at best and downright dangerous at worst. It's time I made a decision. I've been chewing over this for a while. Trying to figure out how to keep my career and still take care of family. See, there's no one else, I'm an only child. It's my responsibility. The only conclusion I've come to is that my days of spending weeks and months on the road have come to an end, but I still need money. So I guess my writing is going to have to support me. EEEK. Do you have any idea of the number of writers that actually make their living off their writing? It's appallingly small. Most writers have jobs if they like to eat. 

Scary, but I've figured out that if I can sell just a hundred and fifty books a week, I can bring in close to what I make as a carpenter. Half that many and I could still live comfortably. Can I do it? Well, not sitting behind my computer in my jammies all day, but yeah, I think I could. Actually, I don't think I have a choice. Family has to come first. And that situation isn't going to change in the next year or two. 

So, I think that's what my pregnancy dream was all about. My spiritual journey inside myself to see if this change is possible. An investment in my craft to make it workable. Now, I need to get out of my PJs and go sell some books.

If you'd like to jump start this mission, click here to purchase a signed copy of one of my mysteries.

If you'd like to just show your support, I'd love to hear from you in the comments. To tell the truth, it's kind of a scary prospect and honestly, I'm not sure I'm up to the challenge.

Comments

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I'm in a similar life position at the moment. My parents are both declining in health, and they live in Florida, far away from everyone in the family.

My brother is not in a position to relocate, and, frankly, the warm climate agrees with them. My wife and I figure we will be relocating, preferably after some more years building our writing careers with money from our day jobs.

Neither of us is young enough to retire. When we get down there, we will need to find new jobs... and the market there is very bad, especially if you're not a long-term resident. It's a risk we're going to have to deal with, whether we like it or not.

P.S. I usually feel embarrassed or ashamed when I dream that I'm pregnant. It represents creativity to me, too. I have an attitude problem, I guess.

Hi Sarah,
It's taken me almost a year of whining and trying to figure out a way around things to finally come to the conclusion that I don't have any choice and I just need to bite the bullet. Scary. I think a job is easier than running around trying to sell myself/mybooks.

This is a tough decision. I realize that your carpentry work is specialized, but could you continue with some carpentry work on other local construction projects? Or maybe freelance writing projects to supplement between books?

Sometimes, having a Plan C, D, or E - even if you never do any of them - helps with the execution of Plan A.

Hi Rhonda,
I'm working on plans BCD etc. I was actually faced with the write for a living issue some years ago before I started my nuclear work, so have already done lot of research. Just need to dust it off and see where it leads.

Wow. I had a dream the other night that I was pregnant! Now I don't have to research it! lol I think your "day" job sounds fascinating! Wow! Good luck on your change!

Thanks, Susie.

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