It's been a bit hectic.
But, yesterday, I was reminded why I do this. I mean, other than for my love of books and writing.
This is my third child. With my first two, I had to work the rat race. I was the sole provider, and I had to work crazy retail hours to provide a comfortable living for my children. I was proud of being able to provide for them - without having to struggle or have them do without something. My children never wanted for anything - however, I did. I wasn't always able to be at school events or sports games. I had to work evenings, weekends, and long shifts on holidays.
Not this time. This time, I'm not alone. Because of my husband working hard to provide after I was placed on maternity leave early in the pregnancy - causing me to lose my job - I was able to begin to build a base. To start a new career. One that developed because I had time to write articles, build a blog, and create a long resume.
What I've realized, while having the time to do this, is that there is money to be made in this industry. You just need to build a base to start with. I'm kicking myself - wishing I could have done this from the get-go. Wishing I could have built a base early in my life, so that when I reached adulthood, and parenthood, I would have been able to do exactly as I'm doing now. But, I was always told that you couldn't provide this way - that it was no business to raise a family through.
We need to stop telling children that there is no money in the arts or literary community. We need to stop portraying authors and writers as broke, struggling, miserable people. We need to stop telling children that they'll only be happy in certain industries because they actually pay.
With what I do, I'm doing great. I'm back up to my old income just without the crazy hours. Even when I do have to work furious hours, I'm at home. I'm able to sit with my children while I toil away at my manuscripts or articles. I'm still here for family movie night, I'm still at the softball field. Even if I'm with a manuscript in hand, I'm still there - which is way more than I can say about when I worked outside of the home, in an "acceptable" industry. I'm able to drop what I'm doing and pick them up from school if they're feeling sick or able to plan entire vacations (out of the country) without having to worry about taking off work. As a family, we've never been happier and it's thanks to my new profession.
So, please... can we stop telling children that they have to work in certain industries to be happy? As long as they love what they do and put their heart and soul into it, they will be able to carve out a life, a career, a sustainability.
I only wish I had started this path earlier so I could have been there for my children in this way the entire time.
Do what makes you happy. Believe me, you'll figure the rest out.