Only a year ago I felt as though I was living in a nightmare.
For the previous year and a half I was working 50-60 stressful hours a week at my day job, writing and self publishing my first novel, and trying my best to hold my personal life together. I was stretched far beyond the point of exhaustion, unable to sleep, constantly anxious, and feeling desperately stuck. I even started to rely on a couple of glasses of wine each night just to unwind. What was so shocking to me was how quickly my life had become unbalanced. I hadn’t gotten there overnight but it certainly felt that way.
Despite two decades of meditation, I had become disconnected and so immersed in getting through each day every aspect of my life suffered. Finally, one morning I woke up and realized I was just tired of being tired, sick of feeling like this was all my life would ever be. I grew weary of the intense frustration of not having the time to write or promote books that I had written. After all, my writing career was my ultimate dream and my day job was consuming all of my energy and most of my joy.
During the darkest hours the positive reviews of my novel, dialogue with my readers on social media and writing in general gave me a ray of hope. Write that helped me to see the light and find my way back to "me". What I realized was, yes, my job was providing me money but it wasn’t giving me a feeling of purpose or teaching me any new skills. The job consumed so much of my time that I didn’t have time for my writing, which would’ve provided me with a huge sense of purpose and acquiring new skills.
Out of a desire for sheer survival I set out to retool my life. It was my hope that change would happen when I stepped outside of my comfort zone. For months I searched for, and eventually found, a job that would provide a much better work/life balance. All the while I threw 150% of myself into my writing. As a result my life has been transformed into the exciting adventure it is today. My first traditionally published book (a book on writing for beginning Indie authors) will be released on October 14th, I'm now getting published in literary journals on a regular basis, and the sequel to my first novel should be complete by time the snows melt next spring!
I’ve heard the stories, I know there are so many other indie authors going through similar struggles or worse. What I learned through my experience is the only way out is to regain your balance. To achieve that balance we need to get three things from our careers: money; the opportunity to learn new things; and a true sense of purpose. It's every writer's wish that their words provide them with all three of these things. I’m so thankful to have found my way back and am grateful for all of those who have stuck by my side throughout my journey. I think I’m a better writer and a better human being because of it. I guess even in the bad there can be some good.
~Eric Vance Walton~