I've been struggling with inspiration lately. Feeling "lost." Like I have utterly no idea what I'm supposed to be doing. Or what I even want to do.
I'm a writer. That much I know. (whew) Aside from this blog, I have written only fiction novels. Four of them, all self-published. I've mentioned them a little bit on here, just as a part of my life as a whole, but I don't want this blog to be a "selling point" for my novels.
I only mention it now because I am struggling with my next novel. This is what I want to do professionally. Write fiction novels. Or so I thought. I'm having doubts.
With the four I have published so far, I was excited to write them. Granted, there were periods when I stepped away from the story, but within a few days or a week or so, I was eager to get back to it. I felt I had this story that needed to be told, and I just put it down on paper. I didn't feel like I was "thinking" too much when I wrote those.
I published my last novel in January of this year. I suppose that's not so long ago, but still. I have started two or three novels and short stories, and think I'm excited about it, but a few days and a few chapters in, all motivation is gone.
Since this didn't happen before, it's got me wondering. What's the deal? Why now? What's really going on?
I read a couple really good blogs today on "The Daily Love." One was by Anthony Meindl and the other by Chris Assaad (two of the BEST bloggers on there, in my opinion, I always get excited when I see them featured for the day).
Check them out here if you're interested and haven't read them yet:
Anyway, they did help boost my confidence and excitement for life in general, and specifically for my professional and creative life, but I'm still feeling lost.
I feel like there's this wall that I keep running into and I don't know how to get around or through it. I want to make a living through writing (somehow, in some form), but don't know the best avenue to proceed down. And seeing as how the road ahead is still unclear, as if walking through a thick fog, I don't even know if I'm walking down the right road.
I'm feeling that conflict between feeling uncentered, and knowing I need to take some "me" time to get centered and focused.... and needing to feel productive and bring in an income!
Do I write more? Promote and market what I have already written more? Blog more? Volunteer at the animal shelter more? Seek out a new direction entirely?
I'm also wondering if this has anything to do with working at the florist. I took the job thinking it would be for six weeks, max. It was just a little shot of income. A structured activity to partake in for a bit. Something new to learn, then be on my way.
I started the job right about the time I published my last novel. So the timing was perfect. But, coincidence or not, it's been since working there that I haven't felt inspired or motivated to write anything else.
Even though I'm only part-time, I still think about the job quite a bit. Of course when I'm there, I'm unable to do anything else. Even if an idea hits me to write about, I can't just then (not that that's happened, I'm just saying). And when I'm not there, I find myself thinking about the next time I'll be working. Like I feel an added pressure to make the most of my time off from the florist. "I have to be creative now because I'm working tomorrow."
And pressure usually isn't good.
I'm also the type of person who really focuses on what I'm doing at the present time. Whatever I'm doing, I'm all there. All in. I never understood how some people work a "day job" and then pursue their passion in their time off. I can't seem to separate myself like that.
When I was working as a teacher and unhappy, my mom encouraged me to at least continue working until I figured out what I wanted to do. Until I had something else lined up or in the works. But I knew I simply couldn't do that. Teaching took too much time and mental and physical energy that I couldn't even think of anything else. When I quit I had no idea what I wanted to do. I just knew I didn't want to do that.
And it worked out. A couple months after quitting teaching, I discovered a program to learn American Sign Language and totally fell in love with that. Then that became my focus for the next four years, until I felt the need to make another change.
So the answer seems simple, right? Quit the florist job. At least that's what screams out in my mind.
But here's the dilemma: I like the job itself. I appreciate the job. I like the people I work with and for. I like knowing at least some money is coming in.
Yet I feel stuck. When I'm there, at work, I feel it. I feel that there's something else I'm meant to be doing. I feel that that is not the place for me. At least not long-term. At least not where I need my focus to be.
I encourage people all the time to follow their hearts. To take the leap. I know it's hard, but it's what I tell them to do anyway. I assure them it'll work out. It'll be fine.
Here's the interesting part: I've never had as hard of a time deciding whether to quit a job or not as I do now. You'd think the higher paying, more "professional" jobs... the ones I actually went to college for would have been more difficult to walk away from. But they weren't. They were easy. I was that unhappy in those jobs that walking away was a no-brainer.
That's what makes this so difficult. I'm not that unhappy in the job. But something is off.