That's what I'm trying to figure out here: how to live a literary life. Chances are, I won't have a wealthy, distant uncle who passes peacefully (in his sleep) and bequeaths a fortune to me. I won't win the lottery. I won't make enough to retire early (or ever, here in California). If I'm going to live the literary life I dream of living, I have to live it now. I have to squeeze it in among everything else.
What to I mean by "literary life" anyway? The phrase is dangerously unspecific.
On the weekends, on my long walks through the Napa hills, I listen to podcasts where established authors describe their writing lives. They talk about their consistency and doggedness, and I admire that. I want it. And I can have it, too, I just have to weave it among the hours spent at the winery and time at the gym, shopping for food, cooking. For me, a literary life is one that is focused, primarily, on the business of writing and reading.
The fact that I work for a winery is enough to send most people into a daydream, imagining what it must be like to work at a place that makes and sells wine. The making and selling of wine is a very different business than opening a bottle of wine over dinner. But it's a great job, as jobs go: I have learned a ton, and if I were to have any requirement for work it would be exactly that--the opportunity to learn and keep learning.
I have purposefully steered my day job towards something analytical and logistical. I analyze online sales; I tend to our POS and ecommerce platform; I manage our email service provider. This leaves my creative brain open and hungry.
So this is what I'm doing now to live the literary life:
- I write: I've polished and submitted a story to a few publications, and I'm working on my novel.
- I read: All kinds of things (more to come on this)
- I support the local creative community: this is a harder one. Stay tuned.
How do you live your literary life?