The good news: I am still off work on stress leave, and finally getting insurance money, and being left to my own devices to heal and rest, which is all very nice and I am extremely lucky.
It doesn’t mean every day is smooth sailing, though. I’m not sure why I think it should be… This week, for instance, has been draining as I’ve tried to do too many pre-Christmas, pre-travel things, which has resulted in me feeling cranky, tired and down.
But generally, I’ve been able to take the much needed rest, to do what I feel like doing (writing, mostly), to make use of the stress leave I’m on.
And every now and then it occurs to me that, hey, I’m off; I can do all the things I always want to do but never have time to do. Besides writing, which I obviously do make time for. Today, for example, I went to see the IMAX movie, Jerusalem. It was beautiful, a perfect “me” movie, and I could have sat through another 45 minutes of history and anthropology and archeology. And yesterday, I spent the morning in my son’s class at school. Which was a different kind of fulfilling.
At the same time, though, I am starting to consider what my next steps in life will be.
When will I go back to work? What will I go back to? Will I work full time? When will I write?
A month or so ago, an acquaintance had suggested that I should consider becoming a self-employed e-book editor. It seemed like the perfect complement to a writing career and a great solution to my dilemma; I would like to work from home, avoid office politics, make my own hours, work in something related to writing (or history). But then my husband rightly pointed out that as an editor, I would spend most of my time editing other people’s manuscripts rather than writing my own.
That would kind of defeat the purpose.
I have since continued this conversation with various people, which is useful because it allows so many different perspectives and ideas. Today, I had a chat with one of the mothers at my son’s school. She’s a writer. And a blogger. And she has started teaching a writing course at our local college. And guess what? She hasn’t written or blogged since she started teaching. She, too, had thought that a job related to writing would perfectly complement a writing career.
My husband, in his infinite wisdom, had also said that having a policy analyst job (like the job I am currently on stress leave from but, obviously, not that exact job) should be good for a writer; you work your 8 hour day but you still have time outside those hours to write. Unlike you would as a self-employed editor.
So, the longer I am off work, and the more I think about it, the more it might make sense to return to a job in the government and make sure I have time to write on the side.
I know I’m not ready to return – yet – but I think I am starting to see how the work-writing-family balance could work.
This leaves me with one unanswered question, and it’s a question that came to me while talking to the mother-teacher-writer today.
It’s a question I put out now to the blogosphere:
I want to write. And I am developing a sort of decent portfolio of short stories and poems which could potentially be published, maybe in a literary journal. BUT why would any journal want to publish anything, and why would readers want to pay for anything, that is already on a blog?
Not so fast. I think I know the answer. They wouldn’t.
So, that leaves me with two options:
- Keep posting my creative writing on my blog and forget about publishing it.
- Use my blog only for actual blogging (thoughts and opinions) and hold back any creative writing so that I can publish it.
- Or, I guess, 3: hold back some of the creative writing so I can publish it, and continue to post other pieces on my blog.
Am I missing anything? What do others do? Is it possible to post on a blog and publish?