Writing with a dayjob

I am by no means a professional writer, not yet at least. But getting there means acting like a professional writer. It’s that whole “Dress for the job you want”-thing.

Yes, that's the one.
Yes, that’s the one.

Professional writers write at least one book per year. Unless they’re Seanan McGuire, in which case they write at least four books and a number of short stories to boot. I am nowhere near as prolific as Seanan McGuire but I do try to finish a short story at least every three months, usually every month, and these days I am always working on a novel at the same time at some point of its life cycle. Right now I’m working on three different novels; one in revision, one in outlining and another in worldbuilding. The third is more or less a product of attending David Farland’s Story Puzzle course and is something that I’m not actively working on outside of the homework assignments. That will start once the second one gets to the revision phase because it is a project that I’ve been thinking about for a while now.

Since I don’t actually do this thing full time yet, I try to carve out the time wherever I can. And since I’m a programmer by day, which seems to use quite a few of the same creativity resources, it sometimes gets impossible hard. But I do try to write some 600 words every day. That number gets bigger during the weekends, of course, but unless it’s NaNoWriMo, it’s not likely to get that much bigger. I have once written 6000 words in one day but then I couldn’t write for three days after that so it was all a moot point in any case.

What does this have to do with anything, you ask? I suppose the big point I’m trying to make is that nobody gives you the time to write. You have to make it. It helps that I have an understanding partner who sees my writing as a career choice and not just some hobby to pass the time when I’m bored. You just have to keep at it until you make something happen. And yeah, I miss gaming and movies and just lounging on the sofa and especially during Decembers I go on gaming binges when my writing brain is too fried to do anything. But that’s the choice you make. You’re either a writer or a hobbyist. I would like to say that there’s nothing wrong with either one, but you have to be a special kind of crazy to sacrifice a million hours of your life to something that often brings you pain in various forms and may never get you anything except the satisfaction of having written. But that’s something beautiful all on its own I suppose.

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