Part of what makes me write is staying on the move. I feel driven to write when I’m in strange places, taking in new sights, sounds, and smells. My writing tends to stagnate when I stay in the same zip code for too long. Something gets lost in the monotony of routine. The urgency of writing fades. So, part of my journey to a life of full-time writing is to remain moving. For me, that’s the way to keep the words flowing.
Since I’ve departed from normality, I wake up some mornings in a panic. I think:
Where am I? and How did I get here?
Since feelings like this are going to be an occupational hazard for me, I have developed a remedy for moments like these. I take it back to the basics. I let go of the spinning potentiometers of future events and uncontrollable variables and I focus on the facts. Then, once I’ve listed the facts, I focus on the things that are in my power to work on.
This morning I took stock of my situation:
- I am in Bangkok, staying in a friend’s apartment.
- I have $1,200 to my name—less every day.
- Not to mention $1,023 on my credit card.
- Theoretically, I have a college degree, but that won’t be in my hands until November (long story).
- I am nowhere near my goal of publishing a fiction novel (A library full of writings stands unfinished, and unpolished—working on that)
- In seven days I’ll be flying to Bali, and in another nine I’ll be returning to Chico, USA. No job prospects to speak of.
- I have no car. I sold it, along with all my other possessions, in order to raise enough money to travel to Thailand.
- The plan is to be in Amsterdam for New Year’s Eve, followed by a trip to Germany, and finally to land in South Korea, where I will live and work as an English teacher.
- I have no idea how I will make this happen.
- After calculating trip expenses and living expenses, I will need to bring in around $6000 over the next five months to make this vision a reality.
I find myself in a precarious position. But through overcoming these challenges, I see myself stumbling on plenty of insight to share with the world, and so, the challenge becomes worthwhile. The trick is not to despair in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. You have to take one step at a time, put one foot in front of the other, and move towards the thing you want. In my case, I refuse to take a 9 to 5. I refuse to climb someone else’s mountain. Instead, I plan to take odd jobs, to make money where I can, and live the life of a minimalist, all the while, climbing my own mountain.
I have been told time and again, that you have to pay your dues, you have to take the job you don’t want, put in the hours, build towards the future you want. I’ve been told that one can write in their free time—accountant by day, author by night. That sounds practical, but it’s not for me. I don’t know what I would write about from my cubicle. I need to triumph through adversity.
I’ve done a great job throwing adversity in my path.
Hopefully I can squeeze some triumph out of that cold, hard, stone called reality.