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February 10, 2012


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This post makes me think about what my dream writing schedule would be and, you're right, the full time writing life isn't always as perfect as we imagine! It is hard to find the right balance. When I've had days on end to write I've discovered that a lot of the time I'm a rotten boss of myself. LOL And I get tired of my own company.

So even if I didn't need the money (wouldn't that be nice!) I think I actually need a part time job -- for my own sanity. LOL It's the same thing I'd say for being a full-time mom. Even if I'm always a mom...I am a better mom with some time away. LOL

Donna Cummings

Melissa, it is hard to find the right balance. I have to admit I liked having the full-time freedom, so I could choose when I wanted to write, and for how long (when I revise, it can be for 12 hours at a time!)

I do think it's good to have other interests and activities -- although I like your fantasy of doing it not because of the NEED for money. LOL


It's always greener on the other side!

If you are writing to live, then the pressure to achieve quantitative output and monetary input could be stifling, unless you write best sellers.

For mere mortals I think it's good to live to write.

If you don't need the money then you can write when the inspiration fires you, and spend time living to gain the real world experience to write about.

We hear a lot about multi-million pound banker's bonuses here at the moment, and I know a few scientists who went into the city after their doctorates and earned a fortune at 'rocket science'. They then returned to university to pursue lowly paid research careers but with holidays and beach parties in the Bahamas.

Perhaps there is a moral in this. First earn your millions, then write your novels with minimal pressure and maximal inspiration ..... Bahamas beach party anyone? *grin*

Donna Cummings

Q, it is most definitely greener on the other side. LOL And we want the side with the MOST green (money) AND we want the freedom to let the muse roam free.

I agree that there would be pressure if you're writing to live. It would be nicer to do as you suggested -- earn your millions, THEN write.

So everybody, pack up your stuff for the Bahamas beach party. First drink is on Q. LOL

Samantha Hunter

Good post, Donna, and on the money -- which, btw, becomes much more important when writing is your day job, and that can take the gloss off of that "freedom" idea. ;) Or, the freedom shifts. When it comes to your writing, you are only as free as the market, sales, editors, readers, income, lifestyle, etc allow.

That seems dark, huh? ;) Not really. When you have that day job, the writing life seems like freedom from the day job. When your writing becomes your job, everything else becomes the freedom from writing, LOL. I don't think that's a bad thing.

For me, the freedom of having all day to write is that I don't have to use all day to write. I can write when I want, and for how long I need to, or not at all. I feel no pressure to use every spare minute for writing. God forbid, actually. There is time for gardening, etc and other pursuits. Because you're right -- more time to write doesn't mean you will spend more time writing, but I'm not sure that should be the goal in the first place. ;)


Serena Bell

Great post, and sooo true! About ten years ago, I wrote full-time briefly. It was the least productive I've ever been. I think I wrote maybe 30k that year. Contrast that with now, when I sneak in bursts of writing forty-five minutes at a time and am able to manage 10k/week. And I feel much more balanced now.

Samantha Hunter

I guess I should have amended my above post to suggest I am not a total slacker, LOL -- I do manage 4-5 books a year now, but at a relatively relaxed pace that leaves time for other things. Honestly, I could never do that on top of a day job. I imagine I could only do 2 -- maybe 3, but not likely. The one semester I taught a few courses 2 years ago I just about finished the one book I had due mid-semester. I never want to do that again. I admire the heck out of folks who can write at the same time they work full time, but for me it seems to be one or the other.


Donna Cummings

Samantha, there's no way anyone could consider you a slacker! When I had the chance to write full-time I enjoyed being able to write WHEN I wanted to, whether it was first thing in the morning, or way into the wee hours -- and what I really liked was feeling a lot more energetic when I was writing. It's a little harder now. LOL

I like your approach, leaving time for other non-writing things. I think we can forget sometimes we need to have something to inspire us, so the words can flow when called upon. :)

Donna Cummings

Serena, I think it's best to write during those shorter spurts, like the #1k1hr. I stay more focused and I have a sense of accomplishment when I'm done -- and it's only an hour! It really shows how much time I use "getting ready to write" instead of actually writing, or doing the non-writing chores that get pushed aside. :)

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