Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fear and Angst Come to Call

Yesterday was one of the hard days.

My husband and I both work from home. He writes computer games, I write novels. He sells his games and makes money. I keep writing and dream about making money. We own rentals which pay a lot of our bills.

We've made it this far and our lives are definitely much more creative and fulfilling than they were five years ago before we moved and started "living our dream", but none of our income is guaranteed and each time my husband gets to the end of a project there's a big scary waiting period to see if the new game is going to sink or swim.

So far this time the jury is out. It's a good solid game and it should sell, but so far it's not getting the buzz my husband would like to see. We're left to wonder what's going on - is it the economy? Is it the game play? Is it the subject matter? Is it the name?

We take turns, my husband and I, having crises of confidence in our work, but one person's crisis can trigger another. We walked together yesterday afternoon to pick up my daughter from school and my husband shared his frustration. "Maybe it's time for me to reevaluate what I'm doing," he said. Why should he spend all his time coding if no one's going to play the games?

These words triggered panic in my heart. Did we work so hard only to see our dream fail? What would we do if we gave up on this? Go out and get regular jobs and rejoin the corporate grind? Put the kids back into school? Is that our future?

I began to wonder, too - if I'm not published yet, will I ever be? What's the point of writing stories that no one reads? Why don't I just pick up a newspaper and find something that earns a paycheck?

But then I rallied. No - we're not giving up yet. The last game was a success. It's too early to rule this one out and besides, we're not going broke or anything - that's the point of all this halving and careful living we do - we have the ability to weather a storm and press on.

I decided to use my husband's angst as a wakeup call and remember that I have an opportunity here that's too precious to waste. It's time to buckle down and treat my own work seriously, to make deadlines and reach them, to start knocking on some more doors.

And today I've had a more productive morning than I've had in weeks. Bring on the fear and angst, I say. I'll bring on my resolve to see this through.


Anonymous said...

I'd tell your DH not to give up. When times get rough, lots of people use game play as an escape. Thank you for being honest about your challenges - this is a GREAT blog!

Jennifer said...

Thank you!

After the first few frustrating days I'm happy to report he's hard at work again.