Shifting Priorities

I previously wrote about how I was finally making a living as a writer, but I used it as more of a “Farewell, 2020” post than a substantial update about the state of my own life. But honestly, sometimes all I need to say is: I’m making a living as a writer.

What? I still can’t believe it.

After a long creative dry spell from about May to… December? Mid-January? I figured my priorities had changed. I used to have a dream of being a writer. Like a published writer. And yes, I’ve published a nonfiction book, but my goal has always been to publish a volume of creative work. Or hell, at this point, just to publish creative work in journals and magazines. I used to submit stories from creative writing workshops fairly regularly, but that’s been ten years ago. More, maybe. I’d have to dust off the spreadsheet to double-check.

Anyway, I spent the first month or two of lockdown attending all of the author events I could. I wrote a lot of poetry because I was feeling a lot of emotions. But I never looked at them again. I didn’t edit them or revise them, and I certainly didn’t try to submit them.

I attempted National Novel Writing Month and “won,” technically, but the story is not complete, and it’s not something I want to go back to right now.

Besides that, nothing. I tried to find creative outlets in other paper-centric hobbies, like quilling and book-making, but they didn’t have the same allure as my phone, with news sites constantly being updated and Twitter refreshing every few seconds.

I’m not blaming my lack of progress on the news, though I don’t think it’d be a reach to do so. It was more that I was writing for my “day job,” and while it wasn’t creative writing, it was still words, and it still fulfills me. Add into the mix my new position of becoming an Assistant Managing Editor of Split/Lip Press and I felt pretty damn good. I was writing words and helping promote and publish others. What’s not to love?

So that’s when I figured my priorities had shifted. I didn’t feel the need to publish because I was helping others do the work. And, let’s be honest, all of their stuff blows me away. I’d rather use my skills in a way that will help people, so my jobs right now feel purposeful instead of frivolous.

It’s important for me to be transparent and admit that this revelation about shifting my priorities came, oh… about a week ago? Which is especially interesting, because now… stay tuned.

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