I’m going to be brutally honest in this post. I’m struggling. It’s not just that I’m struggling with writing, because I am, but I’m also struggling financially. Writing isn’t my main income; simply, it can’t be. I in no way make enough to live off it, so my writing has been pushed the back burner.
I’m a full-time student, and this semester I was forced to max out on credits (has to do with requirements and when things are being offered). Three of those classes are history classes, meaning I’m bogged down with reading and papers. This week alone I have three papers due. Next week I have three papers due. On top of this, I work two part-time jobs. I work at a church; it’s supposed to be 10-15 hours a week, but it usually turns into 20-25 hours a week. They pay me gas money, but since this is also related to school, I can’t go and quit.
Secondly, I’m a freelance copy-editor. I usually average one novel to edit a month. However, me editing a novel doesn’t necessarily mean that someone pays me. While I ask for 25% of the fee upfront before I even start editing, people often push back paying me the rest of it. This is currently happening with a client. I’m struggling because I need the money, but I know (at least if said person is honest) that the client doesn’t have it to pay me right now. Copy-editing is my primary source of income. Sure I have loans and the income from the church, but on average I live off about $800 a month ($500 of that is actual income, the rest is loans). That’s it.
Most people, I don’t think, really get that. That $800 includes rent and utilities, gas and food and anything else that I need during the month. It’s tough being a student, and it’s tough working two part-time jobs that don’t really pay and one where clients can just walk out on me without paying.
In the meantime, between school and church and copy-editing, I write. Or at least I’m supposed to be writing. I have four books coming out in the next year and plans to have books coming out in 2015, but I haven’t written any of them yet. Since September, I think I’ve maybe sat down four or five times to actually write. Writing has always been an outlet of stress for me, and since this semester started, I haven’t been able to do it at all.
We all struggle, and these are only a few of the big things that I’m working through right now. In this day and age, it’s hard to be a full-time student and pay for school. I get no help in bills from parentals, and most people assume that all parents help their children. Well, I got help as a undergraduate to a very small extent, but as a graduate student, it’s all on me. As a graduate student, I’m supposed to be able to live independently and still be able to provide for everything that I need.
Meanwhile, I’m supposed to have a life, have a boyfriend who I actually spend time with, have time to watch television shows that are just airing for the first time, have time to sleep and play with my crazy kittens. It’s just not feasible. So what is it that I’m doing wrong? And how do I fix is so that I can survive in this world I’ve been thrust into?
Now…aside from the struggles, I’m going to share a WIPpet today. I just wrote it. Or will write it in about two seconds.
WIPpet is where you post your current WIP (Work in Progress). Make sure that what you post relates somehow to the date and then link it up with the rest of them. Go read and share the love! Today I wrote for ten minutes for the month of October…I was in class while writing this. Shhh…don’t tell the prof!
Grace’s heart started to pound as the waddling whale got even closer to where she stood. She glanced back and saw Toulouse stood dumbfounded behind her with the punk in tow. The punk’s jaw had dropped and his dark cheeks had a rosy-purplish tint to them.
“His mama,” Grace muttered and took another two steps forward. “Ma’am!”
She didn’t listen. She pushed past Grace and straight to her son. “What you doin’, boy?”
“Oh Mama, I ain’t do nothin’, you know that.”
“I swear to you, don’t lie to me again, boy.”
The punk straightened his shoulders and strained his arms against Toulouse’s hold. Grace skittered over behind the woman and tried to get her attention, but there was nothing she could do.
“Mama, I said, I ain’t doin’ nothing’. These motherfuckers—”
The smack rang throughout the street. Grace wrapped both her arms around the woman’s upper arm and held on as she ripped her hand forward, smacking her child again. Toulouse tugged the punk backward and shoved him into the open car before turning on the woman. Grace had her leg around one of the woman’s large thighs as she tried to knock the heavy woman onto the ground.
Toulouse jumped onto the woman’s back, gripping her hand as they went down. The woman face planted onto the asphalt, wailing out as the air rushed from her lungs. Grace’s head hit the street and then bounced into the tire as she was thrown from the woman’s body. Toulouse was still on top of the woman as Grace shook her head, trying to clear the black spots.
The punk stepped out of the vehicle, crunching his foot down onto Grace’s leg. She cried out in pain before fisting her hand and gritting her teeth. Grace caught a flash of dark blue as two other officers raced over. One wrenched the punk out of the backseat, pulling him through the vehicle backward and the other jumped down to help Toulouse.
Grace rolled over onto her side and grimaced, the pain still radiating through her body, up her leg into her hip and up to her shoulder. She took deep huffing breaths as she tried to work through each passing second. Tears leaked out of her eyes as she scrunched them shut. Sound disappeared as she focused on shoving any bubbling hurt back down and away from her body.
A hand on her arm caused her to pause, and she took two deep breaths before she pried her eyes open. The punk was nowhere in sight, and his mama was sprawled on the ground ten feet away, hands twisted behind her back with cuffs on and her skirt around her waist. Grace released her muscles and melted into the asphalt. Toulouse’s eyes were above as she nodded at him.
“You okay?” he asked.
“Yeah…just dandy,” she replied and rolled onto her back, hitting the tire of his cruiser. “Just fucking dandy.”