Monday, January 10, 2011



I know you’ve heard it. I have from tons of would be writers and experienced writers. The insatiable desire to be able to stay at home and write all day drives them to create the next best-selling masterpiece.


Yes, I believe it is, although it’s not something someone can ‘make’ happen. It’s rather like winning the lotto. I’ve been around and met several best selling and well sold authors. They do stay home and only write. Sometimes they love it, sometimes they hate it. Why? Because now it’s like any job. The core job you love, but the crap that goes with it, you don’t love.

However, because you are now a ‘business’ entity, you have a responsibility to produce a saleable product or – your livelihood diminishes. With the changes in the publishing world, publishers are lowering the amount offered for most works, are being more picky about what they buy – even from best –selling authors. So yes, if you keep your bills at a reasonable amount (low as possible), if you have family support (a spouse who works), if you have established yourself with a good agent/publisher that is selling your stuff. It can happen – realistically. Yet, if by chance (I second by chance) you get a movie deal and all that goes with it – you’ve hit the big time baby!


I love writing, but it’s like a secret treat for me. Thing is – I love my day job. I do amazing things on my day job. Does my day job get on my nerves? Absolutely! Some days I want to throw in the towel and tell my husband I’ve decided to be a ‘stay at home mom’ (he laughs at me because we both know I would go stir crazy at home – even with the writing/promotion/marketing that goes with building a writing career).

There’s the rub, for me, I’m a better writer because of the things I do, I see, I experience outside of writing. Besides I’m such a multi-faceted person that doing just one thing would never keep me excited about all the other possible things I can do with this short life of mine. Lastly, if writing became my main job – I personally wouldn’t love it quite so much.


Do you also go against the typical grain of a writer and don’t want the job full-time (even though I must admit that doing it part-time sometimes seem like full-time to me, lol!)? Is your writing a complement to your already great career? Is your writing a way of taking a mini-vacation from your stresses? Is it something that you think you would fall out of love with if it included the ‘need’ for a viable income in order to pay your bills with the added pressure of success or getting dropped?


Catherine Stine said...

Part-time teaching works well for me. I love my students yet I still have time for writing.

Kelly Hashway said...

Right now, I'm a stay at home Mom/writer. I love it. I'm in the situation where if I don't find an agent by the time my daughter starts school full-time, I'll have to get a part-time job. Will I ever go to full-time? No. I'm a writer. I'd like to be a full-time writer, so I'd never get another job that is full-time.

Tabitha said...

I'm the same as Kelly. I can't get enough of writing. I've been a stay-at-home mom for six years, writing on the side, and I always feel that the time I get to write is never enough. I always want more. I had a brainstorming session with my agent last month, and I walked away from it thinking I've got the best job in the world! :)

I live and breathe writing. The only thing I love more is my family. :) This fall, both my kids will be in school full-time, and I'm salivating at the idea that I get *all day* to write. *squee*

Jeffrey Beesler said...

Writing liberates me, at least for a time, from the anguish brought on by society's ills. It gives me a chance to express myself and lets me be me.

So when the times come where writing isn't enjoyable, I take a moment's pause, then get right back up on the writing pony and keep on writing. It's a great skill to have.

Maria Zannini said...

It's so refreshing not to hear that writing is the end all of a person's life.

I love to write, but it's only a little piece of me. And I would hate to limit myself to just one passion.

Karin said...

I have been writing off and on as an employed and unemployed person. I love writing, but completely understand what you are saying about the "world" helping you write in a sense.
I have discovered through it all that your outside life makes your writing. Because I have the ability to experience life, even without a job (as I search for employment...still), through volunteering. So I don't have an issue being a "full-time" writer, but find it hard to even write full-time, with all else that goes on in my life.
I hope to continue on writing, no matter if it is full or part time...I started off struggling to read as a child, so seeing where I am at now, as a writer, motivates me to do something I never thought I would enjoy :)

LM Preston said...

I love to see the dreams and passions of other writers. I'm an author who has many passions, writing is a way of expressing them. To those of you that want to do it full-time or part-time, Bravo! You can, just know that you are a business owner, and your products are your books :-D

Anonymous said...

I agree. I have a full-time job that I love, and have no desire to leave at this point. Maybe in 15-20 years I'll retire from that and just write...but we'll see ;)

I like having my writing as my "side job." I like that this is added income, and a nice little bonus that I've earned for myself independently.

I would never want my writing to be something that stresses me out. I like to relax, and enjoy the entire process.

Amos Keppler said...

I do many different things by default, but writing is my major passion. I will always do it, as long as I breathe.

Emily Casey said...

I'm already a stay-at-home mom. Many writers are. So, after reading this post, I have to ask myself: why do I want to make a decent living for my family with my writing?

I'd love to make enough to support my family, but why? My husband is able to support us and I think I make a better stay-at-home parent than he does. (He's a great dad, I'm just not so sure about keeping house.)

I think it's a security thing. If I'm "just a SAHM", then that voice in the back of my head that says that I'm wasting my time writing. (I don't agree with the voice.)

So maybe it's fear that makes me want to "make it big". That and vanity. :)

Lesli Muir Lytle said...

I used to own a flower shop. No way could I ever work for someone else now. So writing, at home, is the best alternative for all of us, since surely, I'd end up killing some boss that does things ALL WRONG.

Karen lee Hallam said...

Well. This is on my mind a lot. Having been a stay home mom for last ten plus years with two boys and one special needs. I found it hard to work with a husband having a night club, gone most nights. I had to do most of everything. I've written my MS, looking for agents now and have begun the second book, squeezing in time whenever I could with both boys at my side.
I do have a weekly gig, hosting and performing an open mic jazz set for vocalists. ( is this a job?) I'd lime to perform regularly in other venues as I garner more repertoire.
My partner constantly harps on my need to get a job to earn more income. ( this creates a great deal of stress for me) and it's a long shot to sell a book. I know. And even if I do there may be little money involved.
This fall when the boys state back to school, I will have to add job search. And resume building. To my list of to do: get agent, practice & perform for show, look for agent, build writer's platform, write sequel- Aye. I had to drop the fragrance business I started, due to lack of funds. Tho friends of friends were buying. ( heart is with the writing & singing). I'm on my iPhone. I'm sure there are many typos. Thanks. For the crying room.
So. Yes. I'd love to write at home full time. Because I can always find other fun enriching experiences to involve myself with. If I could only make some dough. :)

Ashlynn @ Writer's Revue said...

After working several miserable jobs through school and losing a job the week before my wedding, I am THRILLED to be a full-time writer. I'm lucky to have a husband who supports me with both encouragement and a salaried day job. ;) (And frequent hints about royalties, haha!)

I also find the business aspect of publishing fascinating; marketing books/editing/teaching writing feels like my "career" while writing is still something special, even when I do it four or five hours a day. Telling good stories is wonderfully difficult, magical, and rewarding.

Tess Watson said...

I'm with you right now! :) I'm a college student so that's my day job plus I'm not even studying anything close to writing, but while I'm in my classes, they bring me my ideas for writing. Maybe one day I would write full-time but I reallllly love PSYC so hopefully time will permit me to do both!

Shana Norris said...

I'm now a full-time writer after being laid off from my day job at the end of January. I actually love it. It's what I've always wanted to do and I'm happy to have the chance. I do get a bit stir crazy some days, but not too bad yet. The thing is though, I had gotten to where I hated my other job. I loved the people I worked with, but the work was mindless and soul-sucking and didn't take advantage of my graphic design degree at all anymore. It actually made me hate graphic and web design, which was something I'd loved since I created my first webpage (way back in 1996, lol!).

I may go back to another job some day, or maybe I'll work part time, but for now I'm very happy being a full-time writer. I think the biggest thing was just that I needed a change from the other job and a chance to clear my head. :)