This line! (and the paragraph before it) — I definitely hear you.
Loved reading this, Alex, and thanks for sharing. I can very much relate to what you say. I make a living with copyediting, but I’d love to make a living from writing. And yet, I’ve begun by trying to find ways to segue into making money off of writing articles — while my real, passion projects are a magical-realist sort of memoir and a screenplay. I’ve been thinking step-wise: first, make money on writing, period; then, try to earn a living on your biggest dreams. It’s a tough balance to strike when you’re already relying on work that often requires a drop-everything-and-meet-this-flash-deadline approach. Your essay offers helpful food for thought as I reflect more on how to devote more time to my own goals.
Maybe you’ve already read both of the following, but I’ve been especially inspired by The Right to Write (Julia Cameron) and My Friend Fear (Meera Lee Patel). I highly recommend these if you need a pep talk from one creative to another.
Good luck with your novel! And most importantly, have fun with it. :)