Friday, 15 June 2012

Disillusioned? Work Harder!

I'm having a mid life crisis.  Phew, just getting it out there feels better.  I blame marriage (and lack of exercise).  To explain, I've just been through one of the happiest periods of my life.  Our wedding day, purposely not the big ball of stress that they can sometimes turn into, had been in the making for about nine months.  The nearer you get to the date, the more exciting it gets, which meant a couple of mornings waking at 5am, my mind whirring with how it all might feel.  On the day, it all went mostly swimmingly and even the little hiccups made everyone laugh.  Weddings are simple: fill a nice room full of everyone you know and love, add some booze, funky music and delicious food and you'll have a lot of fun.  We did, though as we had been warned, it was a bit of a whirlwind.  The smiles didn't leave our faces for the next two weeks when we flew off to Madagascar, tracked lemurs through forests, snorkelled beautiful coral reefs, felt the sun on our backs and didn't think about our nine to fives at all.
The problem AND the solution.

But here's the thing.  I'm married now and I feel the need to be the provider.  I'm doing the same job that I did four years ago and earning less now than I did then.  I need to spend 40 hours a week doing something that I really love AND making the kind of money required to live in London.  I love the city, but she's high maintenance.  She'll offer a wealth of distractions to stop you from ever getting bored, but you'll need some serious wedge in order to sample all of her many temptations.  If you want to live here, you better be pulling in some serious dough unless you want to remain an expert in cat swinging for the rest of your life.

And writing pays shit.  Magazines and newspapers are dying as online is increasingly the place to read and websites want their content for next to nothing.  I got approached from a guy recently who wanted me to write some travel guides for his site, but it paid £50 ($77) per feature.  I'd need to write about 10,000 words for him in order to make the same as I do in my nine to five.  Hence my disillusionment.  How can I write, be the provider and stay living where I love?

The answer is work harder.  Want it more.  Remember your motivation.  There are people out there who write for a living.  They're successful because they really wanted to do it.  And do some exercise.  There's nothing like endorphins to keep the mind focused and the spirit buoyant.  Sitting on my backside on the beach was certainly nice, but it's instilled indolence.  It's time to get back in the gym.  More important than that, it's time to get the fingers on the keys more often.

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