When I was young and far more idealistic, I thought that having an office job was a fate worse than death. I had been born to write. A creative soul shouldn’t be caged by cubicle walls. Etc.
Then I grew up and decided I liked having food and shelter and overpriced gadgets on which to write and look at funny cat things. Thus, I find myself celebrating my one year anniversary at my fifth “day job” today.
Having spent over a year skimming by on contact work before this, I can honestly say that my writing output greatly improved once I wasn’t spending all of my energy applying for jobs and fighting for mindless article assignments. In the past few months, I’ve written three comic scripts for two anthologies. I wrote a horror feature entirely in April, working on it almost exclusively on my work breaks. And it was actually notably better than my last feature first draft.
It’s really amazing what being in a good environment can do. I’m working at a nonprofit with wonderful, creative people. They’re interested in my personal projects and they have some pretty amazing ones of their own. And judging by the ever-growing inspirational image on the office chalkboard, I am among my own geeky kind.
The thing I didn’t understand as a kid is that what you do to earn a living doesn’t have to define you. Often, the energy around you is far more important than the cubicle walls. I’m glad I learned that as an adult, at least.