It’s a full time job

Right now I’m sitting in the lobby of the Melia Hotel in Atlanta, getting ready to order lunch. I’ve been here for a couple of hours. I’m attending GRL this week and it doesn’t really start until tomorrow, so today is a free day. I’ve seen groups of people going off to do things in town, but it’s hard for me to spend a lot of time on my feet. So I am using this time productively, to get some writing done, in an atmosphere that is practically throbbing with creativity, with all these m/m romance writers here.

I’d love to know how many of these writers can do it full-time, and how many of them have to work at other jobs. The vast majority of them are women, and I’d bet that most of them have husbands that work. I’m sure that’s not true for all of them, and I bet some of them do work, although maybe not full time. At least not the more prolific ones.

I have learned that writing can definitely be a full-time job. If I had a job where I couldn’t do anything to support my writing, it would be difficult to get it all done. I’m lucky that I can do my research at work, and meet with my writing group at work, and have lunch every day with my critique partner to talk about ideas and such. And, when I’m at the reference desk, I can often work on a scene or two. I’m getting paid to sit there and wait for questions, so I don’t feel guilty at all about doing some of my own work while I’m waiting.

But the research can take hours, sometimes, especially when I’m looking for locations with Google Maps or one of the other sites I use for that. I don’t know how many times I’ve referred to UCLA’s website to make sure that I get some detail about the university right. All of that takes time. And then there’s the writing, and the editing. I can absolutely see that all adding up to eight hours a day or more, especially when you include the self-promotion that has to be done if you’re going to make your living as a writer.

Would I do it full-time if I had the chance? Sure, if I was independently wealthy. 🙂 But on second thought, maybe not. Writing is fun for me. Making a few bucks at it is nice, but I think if I had the pressure of supporting myself doing it, it would cease to be fun. Then it would be a chore, not something that I look forward to.

But if I could do it without the financial pressure? I’d have to think about it. It’s a solitary existence. I don’t know if I’d get the ideas that I do if I didn’t work. And I certainly wouldn’t have the support from my writing group, because that comes along with my work.

I think, if I had the choice, I wouldn’t change a thing. 😀



Filed under Books, Writing

2 responses to “It’s a full time job

  1. When I was young, my dream was to be a full-time novelist. Then I found out that:
    a) it was difficult to make a decent living from books only
    b) It was a very solitary life and emotionally I wasn’t quite prepared for that, even though I do prefer to spend a lot of my time alone.

    I’m still juggling with different permutations to find what works for me – write novels + articles that require me to go out and interview people (increasing my human interaction), write novels and spend more time on social media (didn’t work out too well), find a full-time writing job to pay bills and write fiction because I enjoy it, write full-time and hire an assistant, so I’m not quite alone..

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