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November 14, 2011


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Livia @ Butterfly-o-Meter Books

Saw the link to your post on Twitter, I just had to check it out :)

I couldn't agree more with you; sometimes I feel like the writing I do in a part-time sort of arrangement is better too then the one I do full-time. I think having breaks away from what you're writing is more stimulating and thought-provoking somehow? I know it works for me because it's like the "illicit love affair" syndrome, you know? If I'm sort of sneaking around, "stealing" a few moments to brainstorm for my story or my characters or etc while I'm doing something else, I get more creative and the results are always more entertaining - maybe it's that small adrenaline rush of doing the "forbidden" or something? He he.
Anyways, loved your post! And I wish you wind in your writing sails, so to speak :)

Donna Cummings

Livia, I'm glad you came over. Welcome!

I love your description of the "illicit love affair" syndrome. :) I also enjoy those stolen moments devoted to writing. Nobody at work needs to know my brain is elsewhere, cavorting with my characters, while I'm doing the "work-related stuff". LOL

Thanks for the good wishes. I hope the same for you as well!


I would find it daunting to try writing a full length novel while pursuing a full time career. One just gets too involved in new physics ideas to easily let go and write any complicated fiction.

Short stories are different though. I find it relaxing to settle with a drink in the evening and write a short in one sitting. Events from the day, or their distorted reflections, have a way of creeping into the story. But that's OK with a short while it might be frustrating and destructive for a novel.

Donna,if I had your determination, I think I would think carefully about each chapter, detailing events that should occur. Then try to write the chapter as though it was a short story, and complete it in one session. It could be revised later of course.

I'm not good at multi-tasking so would want it finished before starting a new day. This would be a 'Divide and Conquer' strategy which works well in other fields! Eloisa James however seems to successfully merge being a NYT best seller with an academic career so maybe ladies are much better at this. LOL

I wouldn't think of it as an 'illicit love affair', more an evening reunion with the love of my life (or one of them!)! *smile*


I agree that part-time writing has a lot of advantages. But I guess, for me anyway, it depends on how much take home work there is from the "day job." Part-time writing and being a student hasn't worked for any sort of novel flow for me, but I still think I'm getting some valuable writing related activity. I also have a loose definition. of writing related. :) I always hope that when I have a block of time to devote to writing the little parts of the whole will come together and play nice without too much "let's get reaquainted" time.

Donna Cummings

Q, I like your idea of writing a shorter piece, or even a chapter, at a time. I tell myself I need a longer timeframe to do the actual writing, but that's not really true. It really just the tiredness telling me I don't have the energy to write!

I've actually written most of my manuscripts while working full-time, but it was different work (office) than I'm doing now (retail), so that may be one of the reasons it's a little more of a struggle now. But I'm determined to do this!

And I smiled at you spending your evening with "one" of the loves of your life. LOL You rogue! :)

Donna Cummings

Melissa, I think going to school uses up WAY more brain power than working, so you can't be faulted for feeling challenged with your writing time.

I deo like to have the block of time for writing because sometimes it can be hard to get up to speed if I haven't written for a while--that "getting reacquainted" timeframe you're talking about. :) And yeah, "writing related" is a very fluid concept. LOL

JR Tomlin

I wouldn't give up full-time writing to go back to part time, but I must admit a couple of your points hit home. It would be nice to have a day off. Weekends? Aren't they for writing? And there is life outside my office. Wish I had seen some of it.

Very good enjoyable post.

Donna Cummings

JR, I'm glad you enjoyed my post. :)

My preference would definitely be to write full-time -- partly because there's more time built into each day for staring out the window, and pondering, and of course, being able to do that without feeling so tired all the time would be wonderful.

But I do like having those days off, and interacting with "real" people has some benefits too. I just have to make sure the writing gets a high priority too. :)

Elle Strauss

Good observations. I'm writing FT and I suffer from exactly what you mentioned. I'm "working" all the time, and when I'm not, I feel guilty because I'm not "working". Talk about lose/lose :)

Donna Cummings

Elle, it's good to know I'm not the only one who struggled with that guilt vs. working thing. :) I'd like to think I can balance it better the next time I'm given a chance. LOL We'll see.

Ben Troy

This is a very influential post! I think everyone looking to blog first starts out writing part time but as time goes on and more passion is put into it then their blog starts to pick up speed as more valuable content is produced. Thanks Pat and keep it up, you’re a great inspiration to the aspiring self employed!

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