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The other day I blew a fuse in my apartment. (Why yes, I did unwisely choose to blow dry my hair while my air conditioner was running full blast – however did you know?) So, to escape the unholy heat of my apartment for a few hours, I journeyed to—where else?—a bookstore.

Not the smartest choice, obviously, because this jobless girl definitely walked outta there with two brand spanking new books in her possession.

The more noteworthy of the two was:

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(I’m optimistic on the job thing, okay?)

Writer With a Day Job by Aine Greaney is chalk full of helpful tips, strategies, ideas, anecdotes, and exercises to get the most out of your writing—no matter what your writing aspirations are. Needless to say, I devoured the entire book in a single sitting.

The following is probably what stuck with me most:

“You deserve to write: Even in our twenty-first century global marketplace, we still hold onto that Puritanical streak that values industry and duty over creativity and fun. Often we inherit this duty-booty from our parents and grandparents who regale us with their “in my day” stories. As you balance your checkbook with your checklist of household or family duties, you must believe—really believe—that you deserve to write.”

I suppose I never really realized how much my writing insecurities and this “Puritanical streak” unconsciously plague me on a daily basis. Sure, I preach about the rightful and necessary place of the arts in our modern society, but I still let these negative voices get to me.

This is what I want to do with my life… BUT…is it worth the stress, tears, worry and pulled out hairs?

Everyone should follow their dreams… BUT…what about the people who can’t? Am I more worthy of my ‘dreams’ than those who are thwarted by the ‘real world’?

Writing is my favourite thing to do… BUT…am I even good enough to bother?

(The book calls the section on this particular topic “Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite”).

These voices even make me question this very blog… however dear to my heart it may be. They are usually saying something to the point of… “Is this really the most productive use of your time?”

Reading Writer With a Day Job has helped me put a lot into perspective. Case in point: that voice in my head? It doesn’t sound like me. It sounds much more like the misguided opinions of people so incredibly removed from the circle of the people who actually matter to me that, really, I can’t quite figure out why I began listening to it in the first place.

I deserve to write.

There, I said it.

And as I move forward, jobless or not, this is the advice that I plan to begin crafting my writing life by. I deserve it… so what’s stopping me?

Don’t let those naysayers be the most prominent voice in your heads, artsies!

And now I leave you with another great quote from Writer With a Day Job:

“We owe ourselves some creative, meaningful time in our lives. So make a date and keep it. Oh, and show up on time.”

Scheduling writing into my life starts…now!

Have a great long weekend (if you’re in Canada), and if not have a great normal-sized weekend, too!

-A

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