I’m finally reading J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child; I couldn’t stay with Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life any longer as I eyed Rowling’s latest masterpiece scrupulously begging to be read. I’m slowly working my way through Yanagihara’s 800-page tome, but a few calculations here and there made me realize that I would need at least another 12 days to finish the book. I had to put the book down.
I dove right into the Rowling’s eighth book after nineteen years. The script format takes a little getting used to, but the story carries on. I still remember reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone when I was in elementary, awash in wonder and curiosity. Although I’m only on page 30, I have a renewed sense of giddiness and excitement.
In a The New Yorker article, contributor Jia Tolentino writes:
Without set decoration, it cleanly shows the moral imagination of the “Harry Potter” universe, in which goodness is circumstantial and endings are never guaranteed.
– Finally, a New Harry Potter Story Worth Reading, The New Yorker
I came across Natalya Balnova series called “Day Job” which featured illustrations like the one above (more here). And then there’s this wonderful piece on ten writers who quit their day jobs: Arundhati Roy, Toni Morrison, John Green. As a writer and (a community organizer) with a day job (although my schedule also calls for night time flexibility), looking at these illustrations, reading the article give me infinite hope.
There were some sentiments that I echoed with from Virginia Woolf’s book A Room of One’s Own wherein she specified the types of conditions women needed to have in order to write. I think what she failed to say, beyond the material conditions she specified (400 pounds a year and one’s own room), is the kind of mental, social and psychological space women needed in order to write.
These days, when I hear of writers and that kind of luxurious space, I can’t help but think that what I’m wishing for is too bougie.
Class privilege has always been something I try to be aware of, although a lot of working-class writers have made it work. Perhaps creating that space does not even require leaving your day job, specially if it sustains your physiological needs.
While I’m in no position to leave my day job at the moment, what is important though is this: always make time for your writing.
Pia Cortez is a writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She runs a book blog called Libromance where she reviews books and publishes literary features with a queer Filipino immigrant lens. She is a contributor at Hella Pinay, an online magazine for Filipino-American women and at New Life Quarterly, a literary magazine based in Oakland, California. She is currently working on her first novel.