To Writers Who Work Full-Time

I heard about a writer today who has the opportunity to take a break from full time employment when he’s writing a book (which takes him a year).  This is because he has a partner who supports him.  I was once told by another writer that success wouldn’t happen until I dedicated myself full time to writing, as ‘you can’t do it part time’.

That’s all very well and good, but I’m not being supported financially and I’m not someone who thrives on stress.  Therefore, I have two choices.  Wait until I’m retired to write or buckle down and get on with it now.  The former is not an option.  I’m left with the latter.

It’s not ideal to be working full time and writing around your day job (or night job, as the case may be), but it can be done.  It requires focus and perseverance.  It requires carving out a small amount of time consistently and committing to that writing time.  There are times when you wonder why you do it.  There are times when you consider giving it up.  There are times when you have a choice between sleep and another chapter or two and you take the sleep.  But you keep going.

What keeps you going is that you want to do it.  Who knows why, or how, but you do.  Being told you need to commit to it full time doesn’t help and isn’t worth worrying about.  Smile kindly, take what’s helpful in the advice and get back to your work. 

It’s your life, and you only get one.  When you get to eighty and you’re looking back on it, do you want to be saying that you gave up because you couldn’t do it like you would have preferred?  Hell no!

Happy Easter

I’ve been so looking forward to Easter this year.  I’ve been exhausted, and the break will do me a lot of good.  For this reason, my writing goal is modest.  I’m aiming to write a thousand words a day over three days, with one day completely away from the writing desk.

 As writers, we need to look after ourselves, particularly if we have a full-time job as well.  A break from the day job often means an opportunity to write, but we need to be careful not to sacrifice rest.  If you’re tired, you can’t write with passion, so what’s the point?

 We also need to listen to our bodies.  There have recently been a spate of writers blogging about injuries that prevent them from writing.  If you’re in pain, you can’t write full stop. 

 So I hope all you writers out there have a lovely Easter, filled with time with family and friends.  I wish you lots of relaxation, and that you will come back to the writing desk next week refreshed.