We’re mostly unpacked after moving to the new house, wonderful, comfortable, large enough to hold the above hamster wheel desk. The old house has a buyer, November settled down on us with sunny and crisp cold days and colder nights and I am looking at our current income with consternation.
A day job is not in my plans. I’ve done that, and I’m all done doing that. So I need to make money writing.
Aha, you say. What a crap shoot that is. Who makes money writing? Who supports a better-than-minimum income through writing? Who works long, lonely hours? Who runs their own business, agents, advertisements, reviews, book art and all? And keeping up with one’s blog.
Lots of people. I know these fine people, excellent, hard-working, talented and devoted to their craft. It isn’t easy. And it’s a full-time job, on-call, holidays and weekends.
I’ve had day jobs like that. I didn’t like it. I’m worried that I won’t like what I set before me, the goals I am teasing myself with.
The thing is, I love my free time. I love getting up each morning and deciding my schedule. I’ve spoken with friends who write full time. One writes every morning with the household rule of no disturbances for four hours. Then her afternoons are spent on marketing, formatting, self-instruction, reading writers’ blogs. She goes to fairs, bookstores, conventions to sign and sell. And she is not alone with this demanding schedule and self-discipline. And it’s paying off. She’s selling more books than ever.
It’s the work-life balancing act that is hard to master. I have been given control over it, if I want the responsibility, and I don’t know how to manage that power. So much goes into this writing gig.
And then there’s life. The stuff that happens.
Tools for writers abound. Online workshops, writer-written books about writing, talking to other writers. But accepting the life of a writer, full time, without breaks, weekends and holidays, that is the biggest hurdle for most.
But I am determined. I have been handed the gifts of time, good health, craft and ideas.
Now, how to take the building blocks of my day and give them some of that time, too. Exercise is a prime need, and gardening. Time in the sun and wind. Now, gardening is exercise, and often these two can be combined. Moving compost, raking leaves, sweeping the decks. All are tasks I enjoy—well moving compost is repetitive and boring, but it’s damn good exercise.
Walking tours of my new town, counting trees and looking in backyards. From the sidewalk, of course. Damn good exercise. I can’t afford the hamster-wheel desk, but I’d rather be outdoors. All this takes time and are necessities, like eating and sleeping.
So, what does that leave for writing? Mornings mostly, in my day. Then outdoors—unless it’s raining. Late afternoons, a couple hours looking for art, finding a workshop, reading blogs before dinner.
Evenings for recreation, like watching and then reviewing old horror movies.
You know, the fun stuff.
Oh, writing can be fun, like any hard work that, in the end, is rewarding. Counting up your words, like looking at your bank account grow, is also fun.
Now, it’s late afternoon, and I haven’t moved any compost yet. Better get to it.