Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Is Writing A Full Time Job?

 As I have started a new job this week in the I.T. field (FINALLY!), in which I had earned a B.S. last December, I am finding that it requires quite a bit of my attention! As anyone who has started a new job, the requirements, training and familiarization that comes with that is quite a job in itself. Tasked with aiding those who are both technologically challenged and those who are aces in the department, familiarizing myself with the company and its policies, and for the next week, traveling out of state, I find it can be a bit overwhelming.

Don’t misunderstand my point, I am grateful to be working at all in this economic environment and am thankful for that. There are so many of us out of work in the U.S. that I am grateful to not only be working, but doing something that I like! That being said, most everyone has demanding jobs, social lives and families, etc, that pull you away from your writing. How do you deal with it?

I assume that with time, my job will hopefully become less intense and the answers I need to access will become clearer. Most of us have families, children and relatives that require quality time and raising children is a lot of work, I know. But with family, work, cooking, cleaning, running errands and whatever other activities we have, when do you find time to write?

I ask you this: Is writing a full time job?

Share with my peers and I how you make time to write.

See you in Wothlondia! Cheers!

Please visit MY HOME PAGE to enjoy an extended reading experience, see direct links to purchase Covenant of the Faceless Knights and to see what else Ashenclaw Studios, LLC has in store in the future!

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  1. Congrats on the new gig, that's great news.

    It'll be hard for a while, but you'll get the balance back; the key is finding a time in the new routine where you can consistently sit to down and focus. My strategies are to write an hour each morning, and then get in some extra on evenings after the kids go to bed and I'm not too beat.

  2. It's all about 'making' the time to write rather than 'finding' it. The latter never happens. I fit my writing and editing work around the farm chores. It works well being outdoors and busy round the livestock for a couple of hours, then coming in for a sit-down and some mental activity. OK, I fall asleep sometimes when we've had some heavy jobs to do! I also write in the evenings after our youngest has gone to bed.
    Full-time writing would be great but they do say variety is the spice of life, so maybe it's more enjoyable, if more exhausting, to be a hobby writer.

  3. Beedo, Thanks for the well-wishes! I appreciate you stopping by my humble blog here and Unfortunately my focus fluctuates. Mostly mornings are best, but I have the most time in the evenings. I also find that weekends are best as I am off...for now.

  4. Steph, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us! I agree that making time is the key, as Beedo mentioned above, too. I am trying to take it very seriously, though the job is soaking in most of my time right now. My brain power is focused on learning as much as possible there. I am hoping that the weekends will be much easier for me to get some more writing done. I am in front of a computer now 24/7 it seems...yikes.

  5. Nice blog, Gary!

    Honestly, I find I write better when I have to work around a day job. The six month I was unemployed after being laid off were full ofd noodling and second-guessing what I wrote. Once I started working again, my focus sharpened and I think I wrote a lot better.

  6. Thank you, Erin and thank you for gracing my humble blog with your presence! (BTW, I recently followed you on twitter)

    I can understand your point of view surely. If your brain is stagnant, it becomes dull. I found that I was fresh as the fallen snow during my layoff and received my B.S and published my first novel as well as created the world in which everything happens! That being said, I do see a difference in the motivation. I have been writing a bit less lately with the stress of a new job and career, but I am enjoying it. Once I find my groove, I am sure it will return to normal. (300-2000 words a day, depending upon schedule, etc.)

    Once again I thank you for stopping by and wish you much luck with your recent release of Brimstone Angels as well! It is on my long list of things I must read! Feel free to stop by and share comments anytime.

  7. It's like working out, sometimes you have to have to put it on your schedule. Sometimes, you have to do it here and there, sometimes after everyone has gone to bed or before they get up in the morning.
    And some writers and authors write like they are working a nine to five job. I find that once the story gets a hold of me, I just write, and my online friends have been feeling abandoned. Congrats on your new job! Oh and make a to do list, but make it generalized. Clean house, can be construed as, make bed, do dishes. Be creative.

  8. I did some digging and the 'k' appears to be for Karen! Hi there and thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    I wish i had the time to write 9-5 again! What a creative whirlwind I had going.... that being said, I give it my best to write a little each day and as you say, you have to make the time. One of my favorite sayings goes: "If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail."

    Thanks for the well-wishes, too! I look forward to more of your comments in the future and I hope you find the Realm of Ashenclaw to be engaging!

  9. I'll second what Beedo said wrt getting an hour in in the morning. It sets your brain right for the day. When I had a more traditional 9-5 I found I would always end up spending lunch hour writing also, and I attribute that to the am writing.

  10. Welcome, Brian, and thanks for the comments. I am finding more and more that i am freshest in the morning as well and may try to start doing some writing before work as I am finding that after work, I am spent. (Has it come to this already?)

    I may try to write a little at lunch, too, but a half hour lunch is kind of limiting to the creativity. i find myself checking the clock too much or get distracted. If I had an hour and left the building for most of it, that might stimulate the creativity enough to make it worthwhile.

    Thanks again for commenting and I hope to hear more from you in the future. Have a great week!

  11. With writing, it all depends on how you approach it. I mean, it can be a full time job, I know writers who earn their living with their craft, and it can be nothing more than a hobby (the entire world of fanfiction is a great example for that). For me, at the moment, it's a part-time job, as I have a full time job and I write on the side. But, hopefully, at some point, it will become the main source of my money.

  12. Jane, thanks so much for sharing! I have these aspirations as well and simply want to write for a living. I figure that in order to do this I will need to make sacrifices, put in long hours and withstand the criticism that will undoubtedly rear its head. That being said, I plan on pushing through it all and sticking out for as long as I am able. One author I spoke with changed my mindset and made me understand that no matter what, my work is out there and that cannot be taken from you. Thanks again for the comment and I look forward to more in the near future.

  13. All my life I've heard of and known writers who could do it around their jobs. One colleague got up at 3 and did his writing (psychology books) before showing up at the college at 8 for a 10-hour day. In my own experience, I think age has a lot to do with it. From 25-45 you can do it all: have an intense career, do all that homemaking stuff, do routine maintenance on rental property, have a "side job" as holistic health practitioner just for the love of it, do volunteer work and community service and also write articles on a regular basis. Something happens after 60 that slows you down. Assuming you're in the "zone," you just have to make the time on whatever schedule suits you--e.g., I prefer dark-thirty in the am over late night hours.

  14. I finally gave up my job to write, and apart from one day a week when I go cleaning (the wolf's at the door, but hasn't quite got in), I work at it almost exclusively, but even THEN, there's just not enough hours in a day for everything I want to get done, so how anyone who has a job/family manages to write anything longer than a tweet, I'll never know! (Twitter: janereynolds8)

  15. Thanks for stopping by, Jane! I am about to start another job tomorrow, so am fearing that is going to happen to me as well. At least for the first month or so...I need to get acclimated. That being said, I have cranked out over 10,000 words in my second novel the past 2 weeks, knowing I was fresh and had the time. I admire people that can manage both effectively, putting out quality work while maintaining family and work. It is truly remarkable! I would love for you to join our community here and look forward to future comments!

  16. Hi, Pam and thanks for the comments! I am in my mid-forties and have good days and bad, so I understand what you are saying. I do not think that I am lazy by any means, but you need to have something in the tank in order to put out your best work. I feel that age has a lot to do with it as well as what type of day job you have. Of course, if more people would buy our work, this would be our day job! Thanks for the comments and I look forward to seeing more in the future. Cheers!

  17. If you can make writing a full-time job, it's simply awesome. I'm lucky enough to not be able to work from home.

    But, as to some tips to make it all work.

    Prioritize. If you're married, make sure you have a 'date night' with your significant other. This is to let them know you love them above all else. When the house is happy--the writer is happy.

    Divide house chores--or do them before sitting down to write. If you're stressing over that load of laundry or those dishes in the sink, your writing time won't be as productive.

    Give time to the kids if you have them--pick your quality time with them. Of course, children need daily attention.

    When my daughter was young, I had my writing area in the room she was in. It let me be near if she needed me, but also gave me time to write without her feeling neglected. It also generated the writing bug in her. Now, as an adult, she's a published author.

    Pick your writing time--and use it. Don't put it off. If you can write a little bit each day, you're still writing.

    Are there things you can have others help with? Do you have an editor so you don't have to spend countless hours trying to be everything?

    If you want writing to be your sole job--it has to be worked like a job. Writing the book is only step on. Granted, it's the hardest step, but it's only the first of many. If you're shopping for an agent--be working on the next book while you're waiting. If you're an indie-author as I am (and I did both--went with a publisher with several, but I must say that I do far better with the book I put out myself--you must play many roles.

    After it's written, while in the editing process--it's time to start promoting your book. Do blogs--such as the one you have here. Write quality content--as you obviously have.

    Make use of the social networks. I suggest having other authors read your book. Ask them for permission to use them on your sales page. Things like "great storyline with just the right amount of suspenseful flavor to keep me hooked until the end" comments by fellow authors or reviewers help sell your book. That quote is from an author and book blogger. It's also used on the top of my Amazon sales page.

    You're using Twitter--because I found this blog from a Tweet. Use Facebook, Goodreads, and other social media. Make sure you take at least a few hours each week to visit other blogs, read and reply to comments in forums -- readers will find you when you interact with them. Many of those readers will buy your book. Readers talk.

    It takes time to make writing work. A lot of time...but there are many things you can do to help promote your work once it's out there. There are great sites to use with just a little bit of money. (Many of us are starving artists, after all) Make use of them.

    Go on Blog Tours--many are free. We have to KNOW who you are to know to look for your book. Something you're doing is working--I found you. I see lots of comments--others found you.

    Another must-do thing with promotion includes CONTESTS. Readers LOVE free things. I also recommend The Indie Author's Guide to the Universe if you haven't read it. An awesome book for any author--published mid-list or independent.

    If you're very structured--write a schedule and stick with it. X are my writing hours. Y are my promo hours. Z is my family time.

    Good luck!

  18. Hope, thanks so much for stopping and sharing your thoughts with us here! I appreciate all of the advice you shared here with us and will take much of it into consideration moving forward. Yes, I am using social media to the max I believe, yet still sales are slow. Patience, I guess?

    I actually have a friend that was talking about doing some kind of promotional thing for me, waiting on that. Like a blog tour, I believe. I did one contest and it was a smashing success on Goodreads. I will be doing another when I have a second hard copy book for release.

    If you wouldn't mind suggesting a few of the low-cost promotional sites out there, I am sure all of my readers would like to know too! Feel free to name a few.

    Thanks for the comments and please come back again in the future. Cheers!