This post unintentionally pairs really well from co-blogger Kristin's wonderful, wonderful post from earlier in the week (so…read it. Is what I'm saying. If you haven't). And, much like hers, comes from a personal place. Last summer, I re-entered the workforce for the first time in over four years. Needless to say, this was a big change for me. I thought I was prepared for it. I had made plans to combat all the things that would be different: less time with my child; less hours in the day to get writing and chores done, etc. I had prepared myself for the emotions and anxiety of going back to work after so long.
But there was something I wasn't prepared for, a feeling I didn't think to expect: the feeling that by going back to work I was, somehow, giving up on my authorly dreams. Now I actually quite like my work*, and have from the beginning. It's interesting and my coworkers are wonderful, but it takes up a lot of my time, not only in the actual hours I work, but in the hours of writing time I lose afterwards on nights where my job has mentally exhausted me and I just can't find it in me to create words.
The feeling was real, and it was something I had to combat, but it was wrong. Because people do it all the time; work full-time jobs and write during their spare time.
When your life changes, sometimes the dream has to change to fit, and that's okay. It's not failing, it's not giving up.
If you have to take a break from writing for a while, to get yourself in order, that's not giving up, either.
Or if you are writing a book so slowly it feels like you'll never finish, that's still not giving up.
If you suddenly find yourself homeschooling your children and have to relegate your writing time to weekends, you're not giving up.
And if you find yourself at a new job, a modified job, a new phase in your life, or any number of other things that change the time you spend writing—or the way you fit it in—you're still not giving up.
The dream might not be exactly as you pictured it, but changing the picture is okay. You can always get back to writing, you just might have to have patience, and a little faith in yourself.
*I actually think it's really important to not hate going to work every day, even if you are not working at your dream job. Because, quality of life and all that. Of course paying the bills is most important, but if you hate your job, keep looking! You never know what's out there.