Recently it came to my attention that some folks have mistaken my dedication to my own work, and minding my own business, as not having the time to be bothered with participating in online occult discussions. While I don’t owe anyone an explanation – I think it’s important that I address this because statements like this suggest that maybe I don’t really care about my readers and fellow Daemonolaters and that couldn’t be further from the truth.
When I say I have very little time most days to spend chatting online, I really mean that I don’t have time. It’s not because I don’t care, though there are a lot of things that have turned me away from occult forums over the years. I spent my twenties and thirties hanging out in occult forums for several hours a day. You can get burnt out on that.
Here’s the thing – as I get older I have taken on more responsibility in my life. I’m married, I have a day job (and you’ll learn why in a minute), and I have my writing career. I also have a family full of nieces and nephews that sometimes need to be taken to, or picked up from, school. I help with that. I have two aging parents who also occasionally need my help. Family and friends are important to me. I spend a few hours a week with a friend who has terminal cancer. I have offline friends that I do things with. I have a real-world coven I work with (though not nearly as much as I’d like), and I work with an online temple. I have domestic chores to do (still mostly a woman’s domain in this house), yard work (home ownership has its ups and downs), groceries to buy and errands to run. I am also active in my regional writing organization and a few other writing groups. On top of that, I teach Daemonolatry classes, I have to attend book signings and conventions, and I have my own spiritual needs and magick to attend to. Oftentimes, after all of these things get done, my online “screw-off” time is rather limited (unless I’m procrastinating, in which case I often spend the time cleaning out my PM and email boxes, or chatting with friends).
I know – it seems like I’m online all the time. And I am, because I use the internet a great deal at the day job and I have the computer on 24/7 when I’m at home because I’m often doing writing related marketing, writing, or writer’s group type things. I do make time to talk with fellow Daemonolaters and answer hundreds of PMs and emails every month. So it’s not that I’m not active in certain Daemonolatry circles, I am and I make time for the few groups I do belong to, but when it comes to the wider, larger occult communities – there just isn’t enough time in my day for all of it. It’s not because I don’t like the people or anything like that. It’s not because I “can’t be bothered”. It’s not personal.
First I think it’s important to point out that I am the sole income provider in my household. That means that in order to pay a mortgage, keep us in health insurance, and keep us living comfortably at that same two income backet like we did when my husband worked – I have to work two jobs (or risk having to give up the writing – which I love). One is a day job where I work 3-4 days a week (depending on the week). There are some days that I get home from that job and I’m so mentally fried that all I can do is sit and listen to my husband tell me about his day. Or talk to friends about non-technical subjects. Or just go sit in the temple and meditate so I can regain some of my sanity.
Second, I think it’s important to define my writing career so that people better understand it. I’m not just some hobby writer who uses her creativity as a way to fill an empty schedule. I’m not a bored housewife or a stay-at-home mom who has a few hours to kill while the kids are in school. I’m not retired, nor am I *trying* to become a professional writer while someone else supports me. A large portion of my income, that my husband and I survive on, comes from me writing fiction. Surprise, surprise! My career as a writer isn’t just about Daemonolatry books. If it were – you’d likely see me release larger works more regularly and I would regularly hang out in occult forums if it afforded me that extra time. Unlike a lot of occult authors who seem to have a great deal of time to chat with folks, I don’t have time to just sit and talk about the occult all day, or even a few hours a day. If that actually paid all my bills or furthered a career I’ve worked years to establish – I’d be doing that. But it doesn’t.
Writing, for me, (whether technical articles for trade magazines, company policies for corporations, short fiction for an anthology, fiction novels/novellas, or books about Daemonolatry) is a REAL JOB. Plus, I do the majority of my own marketing and coordinate production of my books from the initial idea to the final printing. That is A LOT of work. I have to find and hire my own editors and cover artists. I have to deal with my own printers and distributors. Some writers don’t have to deal with that because their publisher handles it. I’ve chosen a different path that takes a bit more of my time. I’ve discussed writing as a real job on this blog many times before, because a lot of people don’t understand my particular circumstances. Even though a lot of my work is done independently, I still have deadlines as my editors and cover artists still have to schedule their work around mine, and if I’m not getting projects done, my family (cats and husband) and I are not going to eat. That’s the cold, hard reality of life. If I could live on air, and a love for my work – I’d do that. LOL
ADDED: I should point out here that I love my job. I love writing and I like my day job, too. Sure, I could give up the writing and just go work a normal day job, then spend the rest of my time doing what everyone else wanted me to do (i.e. hang out online), but I LOVE to write, and since I have the wonderful opportunity to have that as my primary job, why shouldn’t I take it and make it a priority?
It’s also true that if I had the choice to go into the temple and do some magickal work or sit online talking about magickal work – I would choose the former most of the time.
So it’s not that I “can’t be bothered” — it’s that I have a lot more going on in my life than people online probably know (since I don’t share too many personal details online). I have no choice but to prioritize. I know that my friends and fellow Daemonolatry practitioners likely understand this, but some folks in the larger occult community don’t – and this post is for their benefit.