Writing Challenge Takeaway

Here we are, the last day of my staycation.

Usually, although I don’t love my job, I feel ancy to return. My job isn’t a passion. It’s a way to support myself. It’s a good job: fair pay, good hours, decent coworkers, low stress, fairly easy, short commute, and understanding bosses, but it isn’t what I’d chose to do with my life if I didn’t need a paycheck. I’m working toward paying down debt and either retiring early or going to part time work, but I’m not there yet. At the end of vacations, I feel this weird restlessness. I don’t relish the thought of going back, but after nine days off, I’m usually bored. I need something to fill my time, and while I don’t love banging out insurance quotes all day, it’s something to do.

I don’t feel that today.

I feel like I could go another week, two, three, without feeling the need to go back to work. This writing challenge was so good for me. It forced me to be creative, to spend just a little time each day on something that I love, and that trickled into other areas of my life. I was more social on this vacation. I avoided the mid-afternoon slumps where the thought of binge watching more Netflix is unbearable but there’s nothing else to do. I was happier and more content with my days. I don’t think any of the prompts I did returned amazing results, things I’m super proud of and want to pursue into a story, but the fact that I committed to the challenge gave me confidence.

And overall, that gave me hope. Hope that if I keep at this, I’ll improve. I’ll enjoy it more and more. Maybe I’ll finish more short stories. Maybe I’ll write a novella or a novel. Maybe I’ll even get something published. And maybe, just maybe, once I’m ready to quit my day job, I can be a full time writer. It’s a thought I don’t like to dwell on too much, for fear that I’ll let myself down, but the happiness that I have found in writing each day is helping to bring the hope back to my mind. I inadvertently stopped dreaming for many years, trying to find contentment in my current situation. And while I am content, I’ve learned that that’s not always enough, and it’s okay to be both content and striving for something else.

I’ll probably back off writing a bit now that I’ll be back to work tomorrow, but I’m going to try to continue the streak of creativity by brainstorming ideas and at least keeping a list so I don’t lose the stamina I’ve built up.

Overflowing with love,

Cate

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