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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Writing Fulltime Part II

First things first. I want to announce the winner of my May contest for commenting on my blog or signing up through my website. And the winner is . . . Jennifer Ashley. Jennifer won a $10 Barnes & Noble gift card. Congratulations, Jennifer!

I will have another contest again in July, so watch for it. For this week, I will continue my thoughts on becoming a fulltime writer.

Alone: I’ve decided that being a writer means being alone. It’s not like going to work where there are other employees, customers, vendors etc., constantly moving in and out of your space. When I open the computer up in the morning, I am alone. However, once I connect to the internet, I have a multitude of people to converse with, bounce ideas off, and work with. What is nice is I can control when I “talk” with others and when I need to be “alone.”

Now for me, I have another possible challenge with this. My husband is retired. Yup, home all day if he wants. Actually, my becoming a fulltime writer has cramped his space a little, but it’s working out well. He doesn’t insist I break for lunch. In fact, he generally puts my lunch next to my computer so I can eat as I write. But I always make time for him. Taking a break from the computer and the creation of exciting characters and events helps rejuvenate me. And taking a break with him is much better than stopping to do laundry :-)

Days: One aspect of writing fulltime that I did not expect was my obliviousness to what day it is. Monday or Saturday or a holiday, I find it’s all irrelevant. The new importance is on the number of days it takes to finish writing or revising. I’ve started putting the date on my daily “To-Do” List to help me keep track of the time passing, along with crossing out the days on the calendar, but it is still the date I have targeted for a submission to go out that motivates me.

I know some writers can work eight hours a day, five days a week and take their weekends off to be with family. I find myself using the weekends to catch up on the writing goals I wanted to accomplish during the week and didn’t. I may need to shorten my daily To-Do Lists because even writers need to take a break. Which brings me to another concern, how do I take a vacation? Right now, it’s not as critical to worry about because I’m not under deadline. But from other writers I’ve spoken to, this can be tricky. Any advice on how to go about setting aside vacation time? I would very much appreciate ideas. Do you have any thoughts?


  1. I have no thoughts :-) but am interested in seeing how you solve the problem. Right now, between working full time and writing, I try to not write on Saturdays, but that doesn't always work out.

  2. Hi Linda,

    I think I'm going to have to get realistic about my writing time and my goals. That starts with figuring out how much I produce per hour which I'm close to getting a handle on, but the revisions are another story all together. I'm hoping others have some advice for us!

  3. Hi, Alexis!
    Hope all is well. I miss seeing you at the VOS RWA meetings!

    Well, I wish I had something wise to share, however, I don't. Every summer, we venture to different states for our son's baseball tournaments and/or state championships, aka our family vacation. Every summer, I vow to stay away from the computer, paper, pen and pencil. Somehow, every summer, my laptop ends up in my suit case tucked safely between my underwear and jeans. So, needless to say, when I am not cheering my boys on, I am on my laptop jotting down those wild ideas I am sure to include in my current or future stories. So..., I offer no resolution, but share your dilemma. We are writers, and write we shall. Smiles...! Shaw

  4. Alexis: First, congrats on being a full-time writer! I am too, and it's the best job I've ever had.

    Vacation: I do know authors who are very good at taking off solid vacation time. After a while, you just stop worrying about it. LOL I recently ran off to San Diego for some R&R. Had laptop with me, because I had to participate on a blog that was promoing a new release, plus my editor sent me revisions. I managed to have a good time anyway, because I set aside time to work and time to play. (Besides, working on revisions at a coffee house overlooking the ocean isn't a bad thing.)

    I've stopped trying to plan my vacations around deadlines, because I always have deadlines; plus, it's a rule that the day before your vacation starts your editor or agent will send something back to you to revise, or copyedits to look at, or page proofs. They don't care that you're going on vacation; they have deadlines of their own (but tell them).

    What you have to do is set rules. E.g., Today, I am not allowed to do promo, writing, blogging, or anything else that relates to the publishing industry. Or--for these two days of vacation, the laptop is home, and I'm hiking in the woods. Taking yourself away from technology is good!

    Obviously, I'm not following any of those rules today, but I've found they've done wonders for my stress levels (in the good way).

    Thanks for drawing my name as your winner last month. Woo!

  5. Hi Shaw,

    Well, at least I'm in good company when it comes to forever writing. That makes me feel a bit better :-) I miss you all at VOS too. Being part of a writer's group is so energizing for me!

  6. Hi Jennifer,

    Thank you for sharing. That really helps. I was thinking of vacation like I used to at work, but with a writing career, a vacation may have to look a little different. I hadn't thought of that and I love the idea of looking at things differently. It makes sense that my vacations may look different now. Thanks!

    I love the full-time writing. It's amazing how much I can get done without a day-job getting in the way.

    I'm glad you enjoyed your prize, but I can't take credit for drawing your name. I had Mom do it, but I'll let her know :-)