Saturday, May 16, 2009

Take a Breath

I sent those pesky edits off Thursday evening and can now take a breather. If I could afford an expensive bottle of wine, I would celebrate and bask in the peace of no current deadline. But I can't afford an expensive bottle so I'm having an ice coffee instead.
The knife pricking my peace is related to that lack of deadline. I have three books published, three contracted for publication within the next year, one with an editor considering an offer of an contract, but I'm still working the day job. I haven't 'made' it as a writer. At least not made it enough to make it my full time job.
I'm stuck in a curious and exhausting limbo at the moment. I work more than forty hours a week at the job that pays the bills and then I try to put in another forty a week as a writer. Last year, I wrote three new novels and reworked one old one. I'm tired. Tired of staying up to all hours of the night, tired of not getting to read all those lovely books by my favorite authors, tired of the weeds in my flower beds, tired of missing my running workouts, and tired of going to work every morning when I want to sit at my writing desk with a cup of coffee.
I want the big contract. The one that allows me to work only my writing job and not starve. The one that helps with college tuition for the kiddies. The one that sends my scurrying to my accountant on how best to invest it.
So tonight, even though I'd promised myself a weekend off, I'm preparing query letters to all those 'big' fantasy publishers and hoping. This is my best book ever. This is the one they will want. This is the one the SciFi channel will make a movie about. Maybe I don't feel so tired after all.
I know a few authors who are able to make it their full time endeavor. How wonderful for them. I know more authors who struggle along like I am. What would you do if you could write full time? Fresh coffee all day long? A set work schedule or make it up as you go along each day? Do you think you could keep your fingers on the keyboard for hours each day? Would you love it or would you get lonely?
I would like the chance to find out how I would handle writing when and for how long I wanted.


  1. It seems the more I have to do, the more I get done. If I have time to do something, I postpone or flitter around on other things. So, it could be that if I had all the time in the day to write, I wouldn't get as much done as I do now.

    Straight From Hel

  2. Helen has a good point. And even once we "make it" (which I have not), income is so unreliable, the stress doesn't go away.

    HOWEVER, having done the 40-hour day job+ writing, the full-time writing (short lived), writing+freelancing, and writing+part-time work, I will say that full-time writing is a dream worth fighting for, and I'm rooting for you to achieve it!

  3. "If it weren't for the last minute, I'd never get anything done." I can't remember who said it, but it definitely applies to me. I usually need a bit of pressure to get my tail really cooking. (Not that I'm squeezing out diamonds or anything!)

    I'd like to think I could get into a rhythm, and write all day every day if I had the chance. But I also like to think that I'll magically lose 40 pounds and invent flying cars, so I may not be the best judge.