It’s been a long time coming, but this month I’m finally leaving Montreal to live with family in Toronto while I look for my first ESL teaching contract in China, Taiwan, or Hong Kong. At the moment I’m not doing a lot of freelance work (I’m not doing much writing at all these days, to be honest), although I’m still holding on to a few clients as I still need to maintain some cash flow. Until I’m actually in China, and have a teaching salary, I have to continue plugging away at this stuff or else I’ll go broke.
Confessional time: After four years of freelance writing I’m completely burned out and have lost nearly all interest in writing anything at all. The inspiration and enthusiasm I once had in spades is gone and there isn’t anything that I feel compelled to write about. I like to think that this is just a phase that will eventually come full circle and I’ll be writing again, but for the last month or two I’ve completely lost the desire. Even poetry, something which I had for so long considered to be my best creative outlet, has lost its luster.
This is all very troubling because if I’m not a writer, what am I? Ever since I read The Lord of the Rings in high school I’ve wanted to be a writer, but the reality of the industry crushed my spirits. Becoming a successful author and poet of renown seems insurmountable. It seems as though it would be easier to climb Mount Everest than to persist in this and one day attain the kinds of accolades that will finally validate and make me feel as though all my time and effort spent on writing hasn’t been in vain.
I need a break. A break from ALL writing related tasks for a good long while. I need to travel and gain more life experiences so that I can broaden my perspective and actually have interesting things to write about. Teaching ESL can provide those things, as well as a stable income which is more than I can say about freelance writing. I can finally switch my career to something more rewarding and make a difference in people’s lives, plus I can travel the world while I’m doing it. There’s nothing in this world that I like more than travelling and meeting new people from other cultures.
Let this be a warning to all would-be freelance writers: turning writing into a job destroyed my passion. It drained all the fun out of it and turned it into a chore. This career change is something that I should have done a long time ago.