I'm coming up on 5 months of unemployment, and am busier than ever. I have commited to writing for about an hour a day, and this has benefited my primary project, a chapbook with a horse theme. In fact, it may grow up into a full-length poetry manuscript if things keep going the way they are. On my to-do list is to get all the stray projects I have in careful files, boxes and folders and arrange them in my writing nook to be easily accesible. This way, when each particular Muse strikes me, and they do strike, I can grab said materials and get going on it!
Other goals I have include cleaning out the basement, cleaning off the refrigerator and rearranging the corner shelves so that I can properly display my new Jadite bowls, a foolish layaway that I choose to consider an early birthday present to myself.
One difficulty for me has been something that may be common to most artists. I have trouble justifying any time I spend writing. There's a guilty little voice in the back of my head that seems to insist I look for a job twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Then the house beckonss, and cleaning chores seem to always need doing. That call is relatively faint. I am a firm believer that even a lousy poem will have more meaning to humankind than an empty sink.
Perhaps this is why I've never been able to fully commit to writing as a life. I have never been able to really, truly acknowledge that my work has value, that it is important, to me and to others. There is of course the issue of money, which really is always an issue, but there are so many hours in a day. Why do I begrudge myself just one or two of them to devote to the only thing that makes sense, the art I have chosen above all others to express myself in?
I know I'm not Shakespeare or Plath or Jurkovic. I have my limits, but I am growing. This year in particular I am striving to reach beyond my familiar circle of friends who have supported my work and my readings for many years. Part of that is being true to myself and my work. It is my account of my days here. It is my witnessing. Right now, I have black bean soup in the crockpot, chicken fat rendering on the stove and plans to be out by 12:30 to get to the gym, and an eye appointment at 2:30. I should be home in time to make dinner, the unspoken deal I have with my boyfriend, since he is out of the house all day.
I may type a poem or two up while the chicken is simmering. And oh yes, perhaps toss another resume' out to the four winds, hoping it will land in some sympathetic employer's lap who may even email me to say s/he received it.