Friday, February 10, 2012

Becoming a Writer When you Work a Full-Time Job

You love writing, but you also work full-time; is it possible to be a writer? To actually produce a book?

Photo by Allie Holzman, courtesy of Flickr
The good news is, YES!

Yes, you will need to be dedicated. Yes, you may need to let go of something to make room for writing. Yes, you may even have to turn the television off, but you will do it. Whether you are up for the task is really up to you. I talk to people every week who, when they see I've written a couple books, sometimes tell me that they have a book in them as well.

"I've always wanted to write a book about ____________." You fill in the blank. Years later, I speak to the person again. Have they written their book? Nope.

Dedication is one of those things that you have when writing a book is a priority. And if you're already working full-time, writing that book must take priority or television, going out with friends, even cleaning out your kitchen cupboards if they need it. Writing a book may have to come when your children are in bed; it may need to come at 4 a.m. before you head off to work.

It won't be easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is.

Photo by Paolo Camera, courtesy of Flickr
I know some busy writers that write for at least an hour a day. They make sure they get the time in; they leave the dishes dirty in the sink if they have to. It isn't enough for these writers to write "whenever they get the chance" because "whenever" rarely happens. They make time for what they love.

Because becoming a writer is NOT, I repeat, is NOT an easy process, there are many writers that get discouraged just after leaving the gate. They sprint forward, excitement coursing through their veins, ready for the race. The race is new, exciting, and they want it! And then there's an obstacle. The path is muddy ahead, or the weather is bad, or they're just not feeling up to writing that day. They end the race even before it's really begun.

After beginning the race in 1980, I sold my first piece of writing in 1987. Did I write every day? Yep. Did I give up? Nope! Not even when my first baby hung on my legs while I typed. Not even when I was tired after work. Not even when ___________________ (You fill in the blank).
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