So, recently I picked up a part time job delivering pizzas to help support my fledgling writing career. It’s not that I was dreading having to split my time between my writing and some dumb job – I know that’s what every writer has to do, some (or maybe even most) for their entire lives. No, for me it was more of an existential class-conscious struggle carried out in my head.
See, I worked plenty of shit jobs in my twenties to support my corporate ladder climb and I wanted to believe that since I was now in my 40’s I no longer had to do that sort of minimum-wage, trash-bag-changing, “can I help you” type of work. The reality, of course, is that I gave up on the corporate ladder climb and embraced working for myself a couple of years ago, which means I have to support a different climb altogether and thus the current need for a supplemental shit job. I actually had to leap a mental hurdle and convince myself I didn’t need to feel like I was sliding backwards before I got into the proper frame of mind to go out and get a wage job.
It took a bit of messing around with my own sense of reality, expectation and delusion. Thus my choice of title for this post. I could belabor the comparison to the themes in O’Neill’s play, but I won’t. I actually have never seen it, I just read about it at some point because I kept seeing references to The Iceman Cometh pop up everywhere. Still, I will say the themes of what it means to be “successful” and the idea that we all choose which delusion to live under are directly applicable.
I have decided I am going to be a successful self-published author and that I’m going to do whatever it takes to make that happen. I have further decided that my meaning of “successful” is that I can cover most if not all of my living expenses with the proceeds from selling my books. Whether I have deluded myself about the fact that this will ever become a reality is besides the point. It’s my delusion. I own it. You don’t have to like it. You can get your own.
So, picking up this pizza delivery job and figuring out how to re-balance my time to keep my writing pace up signifies entry into the next phase (Second? Fourth? Beta? I don’t know phases…) of my writer’s journey towards my definition of “success.” For the next two years, I’ll be working to keep from drowning in debt and writing to release three more Grant Scotland books. My original plan stipulated that it would take at least six books (full length, professionally edited and formatted and with good looking covers) before I could ever hope to start seeing real returns on my investment. These three are no doubt going to be tougher to get out than the first three, but I’m happy with how both the quality and quantity of my writing has improved over the last couple of years, so I’m optimistic.
And you know what? Delivering pizzas is fun, not to mention lucrative! The tips you receive launch your income far above the minimum wage and the freedom to be out and driving around most of your shift instead of cooped up next to a pizza oven is obviously a perk. Know what else? I never considered this when I was thinking about taking a delivery job, but I’ve found that one of the best things about it is that people are always happy to see you! This adds much more pleasure to the job than I would have guessed. Almost all of the time in my previous jobs, people were never particularly happy to see me show up. Instead of me giving them a piping hot delicious pie, usually I’d just give them more work. Sad trombone.
Also, I’ve learned that drivers yield for the pizza guy. Oh, yes they do.
Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to check out The Adventures of Grant Scotland! Book Three, Spy for a Wayward Daughter is now available at all e-book e-tailers as is an omnibus edition of the first three books!
Tip your driver, folks! That tip may well be supporting a writer!