So I am perforce taking my remaining vacation day for the year and spending it chilling with my frighteningly brilliant sister, eating a whole lot of pakoras, and, of course, writing like a madwoman.
My dismay and heartbreak, internets. IMAGINE THEM.
My sister draws for a living. She is also in school full-time for graphic design. And on top of this she has her own epic projects percolating on the back burner. We were talking yesterday about how you manage to wedge your own stuff in around the cracks; she was bitterly discouraged at how difficult and anxiety-making her own stuff had become when for clients she could confidently hash out concepts and refine them without any trouble.
Here's the thing: your own work? It's still work.
It's just that the client is you.
You get used to finding a foothold in an abstract idea, drafting text around it, noodling around with it until it works, having it come back for a shift in emphasis, and then again to be cut down by half because it turns out there won't be space for the French version otherwise. It makes taking three or four tries to sort out a scene in a novel and then finally axing it or moving it and having to readapt it all over again look reassuringly normal.
This from Kameron Hurley is also spot on:
Writing is a job, for me. When you get to work at 8am at your day job and your day job is writing, well...you come to work and you write. Having a day job in marketing and advertising actually trained me really well on how to hit deadlines and write to spec. No one ever comes to work where their job is stocking vending machines and says, "Well, I really need to warm up my stocking-vending-machine brain." They just get to work.
(Almost more reassuring, coming from her, was this:
We're in good company!)