Instruction Manual for a Full-Time Writer?

One day a couple of months ago, I had an awesome day. I worked on my novel, wrote two blogs and was a social media ninja. When my husband came home, I said (with a slightly elevated volume and enthusiastic hand gestures) I should be a full time writer because I own this biz. I believe he followed my exclamation with a roll of the eyes and left the room.

Today, that dream has come true. When I left my home business behind in my last town, I decided to dedicate myself to being a mom and a writer (granted, with two kids in diapers, it’s more mom). Finally!

So have I been writing? Well… I am writing this blog. Does that count?

I admit it’s been a bit of a slow start. I may still be unpacking but the thoughts and ideas are still very much there. And I know I have the time to at least write a few hundred words. I always have time for that. But I think my hesitation stems from the fact that it’s a bigger transition from part-time writer to full-time writer than simply having more time. It’s a different outlook on writing and the image of my writerly self. No longer am I using the phrase “one day.” Now, it’s “today.” Talk about pressure.

Not to mention, not being contracted yet means no one is waiting on me, and no deadline means it often gets pushed to tomorrow. Always tomorrow.

So how does this work, being a full-time writer? How do I come to grips with what it means and when do I say enough procrastination?

I don’t know, but here’s what I’m thinking…

Scheduling. I don’t think we’d show up for any job if we didn’t have specific times to clock in and clock out. With no one to answer to, a schedule becomes even more important.

Motivation. Without the motivation of a paycheck or a deadline, I have to rely on myself for reasons to keep going. Setting my own deadlines and focusing on the story motivate me to make the time.

Being Realistic. With young kids, I can’t expect my writing time to always be quiet or even available, and I certainly won’t have an agent by next week. Getting discouraged will only make the process harder. Writing a novel is one day at a time.

Faith. I know I’ll make my dream happen. I love it. It means everything to me. And I’m too damn stubborn to quit. I’ll need to remember this on the hard days.

I’m so excited to start this next chapter of my life and begin to focus on my passion. I don’t take for granted how lucky I am. Now is my chance to get my words out there and I’m taking it.

For those of you who write full time, how did you make the transition? Do you have any suggestions for me?

Photo by Marcin Wichary

I am an author and a writing business teacher. I am also a mother of two, a wife, a businesswoman, a nature-lover, and a wannabe yogi. My debut women's fiction novel, PERFECTLY UNDONE, will be released on October 3, 2017. Here, I blog about my journey in publication in the hopes of inspiring others to follow their own dreams.

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Comments (2)

  1. I’ve been a writer since I was a kid, but it took almost 4 decades to truly embrace it and work to make it happen. It’s funny, I don’t know if I would’ve called myself a “full time” writer before reading this post. I most definitely am a full time mother, but when my kids were younger (now 6 and 2.5) I was too afraid of failure and frozen with inertia (not to mention a colicky first baby who never got much easier) to write much. Only recently something shifted inside me, seismically, and though my time is still limited, my desire and drive to succeed is in full effect. I’m grateful for mom-writer blogs like yours for the inspiration and motivation.
    -Dana

    1. It’s funny, I was just having a similar conversation with my agent about this. I keep feeling like no matter how much I work, it’s never enough. I really only spend about 12-16 hours per week writing fiction but there’s so much more to being a writer and I think if we include all of that, we end up with a workweek that would rival most lawyers! Lol! So glad to hear you’re on the path that makes you happy! It’s a tough path, but it’s a rewarding one.

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