I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine yesterday.
She is currently "between jobs" and has been interviewed for two very promising positions.
One is a job that would allow her more flexibility, the kind of work that would be able to let her skills shine and it doesn't pay much, but it does have potential.
The other, is a job that has a long commute, but the hours are regular, and the money is significant. She wouldn't have the flexibility she would have with the first position, and she would be coming home later, and miss some of the activities that her children participate in, but she would still have the weekends off with both positions.
The dilemma is this, does she go for the job that would feed her soul or go for the money and the steady paycheck?
Logic would say to take the 2nd job, it would be a regular schedule, a regular paycheck, and it would be a sucky commute (she would have to buy a car to save on gas), but with the bills to pay and the kids to feed...well, it's tempting to go that route.
I told her that money isn't everything. You can make a million dollars a year, but if you don't enjoy what you're doing and you're missing out on your kids growing up, what's the point?
She said she would like to get the 2nd job, get chosen for it knowing that she is qualified and able to get a position like that with good pay and then...turn them down and take the first job. But she admitted with the money, it would be really hard to turn that down.
I then realized that I need to take my own advice. I keep thinking that someplace out there is a great job with great pay that will pay the bills and let me afford some luxuries, but when I start thinking of interviewing, commutes, office politics, and having to kiss ass everyday, well, my stomach turns. It just feels wrong for so many reasons. Mainly, it's not what I want anymore.
This last year has been about me pursuing my writing dream. Getting the experience, writing and sending out articles to be published, writing books, finding a wonderful coach (Beth Ann Erickson) to help and guide me, and to invest all of that time and energy and money in writing for a living and then to just put that all aside for a job with money makes what I've done a waste.
I thought this over last night when I was at work (my factory job that pays the bills right now), and realized I need to feed my soul as much as I need to feed the family. I need to take my own advice and really go for this writing career I've dreamed of because nothing else right now feels right.
Don't worry, I'm not quitting the factory just yet. The bills still need to be paid, but once the writing is paying the bills and then some, bye-bye factory!
I also realized I forgot to tell my friend the most important thing I've learned this year: When you love what you're doing it's not work, and the money will follow. I have been truly blessed in my life, especially this last year to find the coach I needed, the books I needed to read, the inspiration from other people and other writers to keep me sitting at the keyboard everyday. But most of all, when I start to worry about money, the money doesn't come. When I do what I love to do, and don't think about the money, it shows up, time and time again. Once I made the decision to pursue my writing career, wonderful things started to happen and I can't ignore that, nor can I ignore my instincts. This is, without a doubt, the right path for me.
Life is too short to be miserable doing something you hate just for a paycheck. I decided last year that I wanted something more, and I need to reach those goals: doing what I love by writing, working at home, working the hours I want, helping people with my gifts and skills, teaching and holding workshops, and have the life I envisioned.
I have to get back to writing now. I'll keep you posted on my progress!