Real life has a habit of getting in the way of a writer’s path. Most writers I know have a day job – and given the recent stats that ‘successful’ Australian writers earn only around $11,000 a year, most of you will already know that writers need a day job to support them. Many of them are teachers. I am also a teacher, but I now work for the NSW Department of Education in a busy day job promoting the profession. I can be on the road, at events, and talking until I can’t talk anymore…but somehow I have to wedge the writing in. Not because I have to, but because I want to.
I’m lucky in that I have a writing residence that I can head to for complete solitude. But the struggle of any creative artist I know lies in striking that balance – working during the day and writing around the small hours of the evening, night and early morning. There is an inner thirst that drives us to write, or create, or just lose ourselves in something that feeds our soul. If bestseller lists are anything to go by at the moment, most people are getting their fix by colouring in.
But I also know that I probably couldn’t write full-time. I’m a social being. I’d go stir-crazy if I didn’t have people to bounce off, or purpose in my day job. What I have to do is reign myself in, and get lost in the fantasy world. It’s a nice counterbalance to the real one.