But You Need To Earn Money

It’s true, I spent all my savings on food and books last semester. I was on a happy binge and I told myself it was to improve my mental health. Well, my mental health is still broken and now, so are my finances. And I just remembered that that’s why I needed an internship this summer. To gain experience in content writing as well as earn some cash to support my healthy/unhealthy lifestyle next semester.

But well, I ain’t got no internship and I ain’t got no cash.

What I do have, however, is that tiny voice inside my head telling me that writing a novel this summer is not gonna help me achieve anything at all. I’d probably have wasted a lot of time and sacrificed all of that mental energy that I could have put into developing a rocking CV, just for one lousy book that would probably end up in some publishing intern’s trashcan some day.

There is no career in novel writing, they say. And you need a way to pay the bills. There isn’t a way for me to not pay them or to not have those bills in the first place. It’s life. And there isn’t a way for my writing to start paying bills right in the beginning of everything. Especially for a slow writer like me, only 700 words into this first book I’m trying to write and already questioning it all.

Balance. Work during the day, write at night. A strategy. But just the way one person can only function after a minimum eight hours of sleep and another can be energetic after just four hours, I cannot write like that. The only way I can write is in a semi-dark room, absorbed in the poetry and music of a thousand words for hours and hours on end. I need that hermitage – days on end spent leisurely strolling through the streets of my make-believe world. Unless I have touched every nook and cranny of every house on that street, I cannot begin to write. Unless I am the words and the words are me, I cannot begin to write.

It feels like the biggest gamble of my small, uneventful life to commit to novel writing for two whole months and do nothing else. No running after the same-old, same-old of the big, scary world out there. No preparing for the future.

It’s just me and my story right now. And I gotta say, I don’t think I’ve felt this happy since eighth grade.

How To Spend Summer Break Productively

It’s been kind of a slow and kind of a disappointing summer for me so far. While I’d hoped to have started on a journey of self-discovery and career growth through an amazing internship by now, I’m sitting at home, about to click Play on yet another been-there, seen-that web series for the sole purpose of crossing it off my Watchlist and allowing myself to feel like I’m not completely wasting the last two-month vacation I’ll probably ever get to enjoy for the rest of my life. Third year of college about to begin and to my horror, I have next to nothing to show for it.

This is not how I imagined my life would be like at twenty.

Yeah, yeah. I can hear the chuckles and imagine the smiles and the mental reiteration of, “Who ever does?” and I agree, who ever does imagine their life the way it actually turns out? But get this, eleven year old me? She had HUGE plans. And twenty year old me? She hasn’t even STARTED on these plans and I’m beginning to get a teensy bit worried that I never will.

Also, the twenty-first century’s obsession with ‘productivity’ is really stressing me out. Do I always have to be on the go all the time? Am I the one taking this too chill or has everyone else just forgotten to live for a while? What’s so wrong with spending the summer focussing on having a great time instead of slaving at an internship to add another line in my CV? Or is there, perhaps, a magical middle ground?

Turns out my stressed-out, wanting-to-chill-out ass is sort of a low-key genius. She found the mystical middle ground. She came up with a brilliant idea – all by herself, may I add – to embark on a beautiful trip of writing a novel to cheat her way out of choosing between a good time and slavery. Writing is therapeutic for me and at the same time, it gives me a sense of achievement. Voila! Problem solved.

Or not. I forgot I’ve had writer’s block for nearly two years now but this summer, I’m gonna fight it tooth and nail. My first novel deserves all the effort. Any tips?

Also, would it be totally, off-the-rack presumptuous of me to think that you guys would actually like to hear how I get along with my experience of trying to write an actual book, all of my own, for the very first time?