whoring for security

A friend wrote to me yesterday and told me I shouldn't be working for a software company, I should be writing. His exact words were:

{Dreamvirus} needs to write wants to write and loves to write yet...he does not write...

I remember when I started working 4 years ago, I had just finished a Masters in American literature and was smoking a lot of weed and juggling 3 or 4 hours a day, and generally had very little idea of purpose or destiny, and felt that this was a good thing. I was feeling slightly insecure about money (you know, being able to eat, pay rent, buy drugs, not necessarily in that order of priority), so when an acquaintance from the university asked if I'd like a job in the billing department of a telecoms company he worked for, I said OK.

I didn't know anything about programming, billing, telecoms, or, well, anything at all to do with money or computers, but I knew I was smart enough to figure it out, and I knew that earning my own money would be interesting, at least for a while. I knew that if I was unhappy, I could just leave. I had never wanted to be rich, or work in an office like my dad, but I decided to treat it like a social experiment on myself:

My experience in my first job was mixed. I learned about databases and telecoms pretty quickly after the first few panicked days (oh my god i can't do this what the fuck am i doing here i'm a writer) and I actually enjoyed the whole problem-solving thing. It reminded me of my days of writing conversation programs in BASIC on a Vic 20. However, the stress of working for a gang of insane idiots eventually got to me, and I handed in my notice after realizing that I had stopped wanting to get up in the mornings.

Subsequent jobs have been pretty rewarding, and I've been learning such languages as Visual Basic and Transact-SQL pretty steadily. Recently I've started developing using C# and VB.NET, which are, well, kind of same-y to be honest, but easy to use.

My problem is one which I'm sure many Everything users will recognize: I am sitting at my desk, with deadlines approaching, surfing, noding and writing.

Where's the problem, you say? Well, if it goes on like this I'll be fired - and I'd be the first to admit that I should be fired. More importantly - if I wasn't noding, I'd still be writing. I am totally distracted by the urge to write. I don't give a shit about my deadlines, or getting fired, or getting ahead, or learning more, or even the basic satisfaction of writing a piece of code that works. It's all gone - I don't know why, or where it went, but it's gone, and once again I've stopped wanting to get up in the mornings. Whatever personal growth I needed to go through in the working world, I've gone through, and now, once again, all I want to do is write.

I would quit tomorrow, except that so many things go along with that - in order to start writing, I would need to accept a far lower income level, or maybe even no income at all for a while, which would mean I wouldn't be able to pay the rent on my apartment. So, from being the grinning stoner who took a job for the hell of it, I've become the tired-eyed young man who stays in his job because it gives him security.

What the fuck am I doing?