"Work is inconvenient, and soils the clothes," Sancho Panza.
In this, as in so many other things, Sancho was profound. Work is inconvient; there are many things I'd rather be doing today than going to work. I'd like to write. I'd like to read. I'd like to send off volleys of emails and phone calls to bookstore owners. Outside it's raining. No doubt I'll get wet.
No doubt these and other considerations led Sancho to opt for a job squiring Don Quixote. The hours were irregular, the pay nonexistent, but at least it wasn't a desk job and besisdes, the don kept promising him governorship of his own private island one day.
But for the rest of us, the day job is still a necessity. I always feel sick at heart when someone tells me, "I want to write as soon as I retire." Dear Lord, write now! I feel equally sick when someone spins out her fantasy of how she's working on a book of poems that will catapult her to riches. I smile and nod and make encouraging noises, but I'm thinking, "Don't delude yourself."
Only for the very rare few will fiction writing earn enough that they can get the day job. And folks who wait to leave the day job to write... probably never will.
That's the thing about paying work and creative work, and what makes writers such special people. If you're going to write, you're going to have to do it when you can squeeze out time between the other pressing concerns of existence: getting a living, fixing that broken hinge, doing the dishes.
This is the reality of the writer's life, not very glamorous is it? Like Sancho, I still dream of my own private island, and I'll get there, one day, I will. But in the meantime this is the price I pay until somebody pays my price. Cervantes started Don Quixote while in prison. Think how helpful a good long prison sentence would be in giving you time to write! Maybe Sancho is a projection of Cervantes himself, the earthly man, reasonably concerned with filling his belly and having warm straw to sleep on, driven into one painful calamity after another by this mad vision of glory that keeps spurring him on. Quixote can't help it; he's crazy. What's Sancho's excuse? What's mine.
Sorry if this sounds glum. It's a rainy Monday in Atlanta. 6:25 AM. Time to go to work.