Feb 9, 2010

Finding Time to Write


By Jaime McDougall

While we would all love to write a bestseller and have it pay for all the bills plus a summer home in Italy, it’s just plain not possible for the majority of authors. Even becoming a published author doesn’t mean you can quit your day job – especially these days. No longer do artists, writers, etc have patrons who are willing to pay the way for that next great piece of literary genius. (I suppose you could call my husband my patron, but that’s getting beyond the point.)

So we do what we must to pay the bills. If we’re lucky, it’s within the realm of what we love to do: write.

However, as appealing as writing for a living (and not in the novel writing way), you have to be even more careful with scheduling and making time to write creatively, or you run the risk of never finishing your book.

I write a lot. I work at home as a freelancer and writing is what has paid my bills since I have moved to Australia. I have since taken on other non-writing work, but writing is a big source of my income. I write (type) thousands of words every day.

So why is it that my novel isn’t progressing?

Because by the time I am doing getting all my work done, I want to go relax. I don’t want to sit on the computer for another hour on another project, no matter how much I love my novel.

So if you are (non-creative) writing for a living or thinking about a career in freelance writing, make sure it is what you truly want to do and that you’ll have the time and energy for the other things you want to accomplish. Don’t go so far that you’ll find yourself in the situation that I’m currently in – seemingly no time for creative writing and trying to figure out where to step back in order to make life, and fiction writing, more than just a to-do list item.

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