I love anyone who encourages you to take control of your life, follow your dreams, buck convention, do what you love, etc.
But is anyone else kinda tired of hearing that encouragement only from single thirty-somethings who left their lucrative corporate life to run a lucrative digital business and trot the globe?
Yeah, that's inspiring -- of course. Yes, a lot of the people in this creative space are dreaming of leaving behind a corporate job. A lot of them dream of seeing the world outside their borders. A lot of them love the independence of living life without a partner to tie them down.
But what about the rest of us?
On anecdotal evidence, I'll venture to say that most of the writers and entrepreneurs reading the hundreds of lifestyle-building, career-advising, dream-chasing blogs out there live lives a lot closer to what the dream-chasers would disdainfully call normal.
And you want to keep your normal life.
You want the security of regular money coming in.
You want the comfort of owning a home in a town you're familiar with.
You want your obligation to your family; you don't feel "tied down" by it.
You're in your early twenties and don't want to experience a decade of corporate life just to leave it later.
Or you're in your early fifties and have worked your ass off to leave corporate life the way Americans have always done it -- through retirement.
Or you're in your thirties or forties and not climbing the corporate ladder, but working steadily at a regular ol' nine-to-five that keeps your bills paid and your family fed -- but not much more.
Why is digital entrepreneurship always presented as an all-or-nothing game?
Why do you have to want to completely shed the shackles of "normal" life to love the life you live? Why do you have to cross exotic borders to feel the freedom of travel? Why do you have to suffer an inconsistent paycheck to do the work you love?
Maybe . . . you don't.
You don't have to be part of a revolution to choose the work and life you love. (Like this? Tweet it!)
Two years ago, I would have scoffed at you if you said you couldn't move every three months because of your family. I would have dismissed you for admitting you write only on nights and weekends around your day job. I would not have believed you when you called yourself a writer, artist, or entrepreneur. I would have said you weren't doing it for real, not like those of us who have sacrificed everything.
And I'm sorry. I would have been wrong. I've aged, moved, lived, suffered, worked, and learned a lot in these two and a half years. I understand where you're coming from.
You want comfort and adventure.
You want stability and freedom.
Yes, you want to love your life and care about your work. But maybe you don't want to strike out on your own, leave behind the life you know, build your own thing from scratch; manage the minute details of a business that has become so much more tedious, boring, and demanding than the day job you left behind for this "freedom".
But you keep reading these books and blogs, taking the courses, searching for a clue. Everyone is teaching you how to leave it all behind -- but all you want to do is spruce "it" up a bit. Make it something you love.
Where's the guidance for your dream?
The work revolution doesn't have to mean we'll all be working on a laptop from the beach sipping something fruity, making money while we sleep. It doesn't even have to mean working in your PJs with a cat curled next to your keyboard. But all the career and lifestyle blogs kinda make you feel like that's what you're supposed to wish for.
You could love the work you go into an office every day to do. You could even be happy -- gasp! -- working for someone else. And, even with such conventions in your life, you can still be an artist, a writer, an entrepreneur.
You can be an entrepreneurial hobby writer.
You can be a successful author and a devoted mother.
You can be a spouse, parent, employee, pious member of small town society -- and nurture your creative, entrepreneurial spirit.
There can be happiness for the silent majority who don't want to leave work behind, live out of a suitcase, make a living writing, or work just four hours a week.
Of course, I'm not exactly living the traditional life. I don't know anything about fitting creativity around diaper changes, bath time, day care, date night, lunch with Mom, teaching Sunday school, being promoted at work.
But I'm learning to embrace my own weakness for stability, comfort, and familiarity. And I live in a tiny town in Wisconsin, where I'm surrounded by family who absolutely love all this normalcy. And I'm talking every day with readers and clients who just want to write, not be part of a movement.
I love you, normal people, and I love the work you do. I don't care how you do it, from where you do it, how much money you make -- or don't make -- doing it, or how much time you devote to doing it. I just care that you do it, because it's what you love.
So, just stop dreaming (or trying to follow someone else's dream), and start writing (however, whenever, and whatever you want -- just friggin' write).
This post originally appeared at WritersBucketList.com.
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more information
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place