The next few months are going to be critical ones in my job. The non-profit I work for is looking for new corporate sponsors and is developing a range of programs to ensure its growth and future. Despite what some people want to believe, money is an essential part of working for a charity and there is never enough of it.

We are running our Winter Appeal at the moment (see the Feed the Children Australia links below on this page) and the stress of needing this to succeed bleeds into every part of my life.

This is a full-time commitment (taking up many hours a day as well as weekends). And it is something that lies dormant in my mind, leaping to the forefront at times when I should be doing something else. The need to do a good job isn’t restricted to normal working hours.

Which sounds a lot like writing. I’m doing the latest round of edits to a manuscript. Ideas and fixes will pop into my mind while I drive, shower, watch tv, eat, or any one of a thousand non-writing related activities.

The difference is that my job pays me money and my writing (at the moment) doesn’t. And even if I were to sign a novel contract today it would hardly be enough to live off. Thus, like many authors, I need to work and write.

The dilemma is that I can’t do two full jobs and have a family and not be a nervous wreck (you mean, I’m not now) so the writing suffers. It is always there but there are times when I have to summon the courage to banish it to the “I will do later” bin.

I can cross my fingers and hope that the big contract will come through – both for work and writing – but like so many people before me I have to make choices. How other writers cope with these dilemmas make for interesting reading. But at the end of the day I can only live my life, can only make the sacrifices I am prepared to make for myself and my family.

So, to any other writers out there, I offer you my heartfelt best wishes. This is a challenging obsession we have biting at our minds.

And to any charity or non-profit workers out there, I hope you find the support you ned to help other people.

And, to anyone who can, please make a donation to the Feed the Children Australia Winter Appeal or even just a normal donation through the website.