Putting Puzzles Together

Guess what? I don’t make my living writing books…yet. I have other jobs. Three actually. One of them is scheduling this woman’s very busy practice. I just finished fielding 644 requests for 448 time slots in 2011. It was very challenging. In the middle of it, I realized that this puzzle of assessing people’s requests and fulfilling them is very much like threading and weaving my characters’ desire lines with plot, pacing and story arc. Stepping back, I could see that every job I’ve had has improved my skills as a writer if I let it. At the very least, these pay-the-bills jobs offer us the puzzle of cobbling our lives together so that we know what it is to balance jobs, family and become better people.

How does your pay-the-bills job assist your life as an artist?