wine on the keyboard

Writing as a Career

by Kay~Kacey on 6/29/2005

Writing as a career…

So I’ve been thinking. (scary, huh?) about writing as a career. How many of us treat it like a career? And I’m not talking quit your day job write all day long career. I mean fit it in to whatever your life has to be, and make it a priority. Let the laundry pile up. Feed the family McDonalds. Demand respect for your time spent writing, just like the time your dh puts in to his job, or you put into a day job.

I’ve found I have had to give up a lot of things I enjoy to focus on my writing. I still make time with my family a priority…but frankly, that’s about it. I rarely have time for my hobbies like knitting or weaving. I read less. I do less social things. The house that used to be cleaned frequently gets cleaned only when I can’t stand it. I ask for more help from my family. We eat more fake meals. I’ve practically given up TV.

I scrape up money to go to conferences. I meet new people. Hand out cards. Get cards. Network. Talk writing. Come home fired up to take on the publishing world.

I always have stuff-out-there ™. The more the better.

I do get discouraged sometimes, but I pick myself back up and send out more proposals. Persistence is king. (or queen).

I’ve learned to do things I said I could never do very well. Write a blurb, write a synopsis, add in emotion. I’ve quit the negative self talk and the can’ts. I plan out stories for new markets and lines that open up, if they fit into my writing style. (you know my style, the one without the tag line, except for Amy’s suggestion of going with “relationshipy romance” :mrgreen: )

There are so many hobby writers out there. They like to hang with writers, get to know them, play with RWA. That’s okay. If playing at writing makes someone happy..go for it. I’m all for people doing what makes them happy. (and really, if they aren’t submitting much, or at all, they aren’t taking an editor’s time away from serious writers anyway)

I’ve been seriously writing romance for over 10 years. I did treat it as–not really a hobby, but it just wasn’t a priority–for a few years in there while I was going through a divorce and raising the kids and just overwhelmed. Some of my writer friends stuck with me through the bad times and my limited writing, some dropped me and moved on without me. Now though, I’ve ended up with some true writing friends that have been there all through the years and stuck with me, that I think, no I know, will always be there for me. I also think I’ve managed to learn to write through anything. Given up the excuses why I “can’t” write…and just keep at it. I know that a lot of people who started out when I did are already published…by hard work usually, a bit a luck sometimes…though I think we make our own luck.

So do you treat writing as a career. Do have stuff out there all the time? Do you write everyday, or most days? What do you give up to go for your dream? Is it your dream? Do you hang out with career minded writers or hobby writers? What did you do today to grab for your dream?

I’m a published author. I’m a published author. I’m a published author. Affirmations rule!

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Michelle June 29, 2005 at 5:49 am

I’ll admit that I’m having to assert myself more, to make writing a priority. It’s difficult to get your spouse to support you when they’re accustomed to things a certain way. That said, baby steps work very well.

I do have stuff-out-there(tm) all the time. I want this to be a career more than anything in the world. Like you, I know it will happen. The odds are in my favor! :)

kacey June 29, 2005 at 6:18 am

I meant to add this quote that Karen King has on her website from an Apollo 12 astronaunt

“The most important quality I have noticed in successful people is that they have a dream. They want to be someone or something. They want to have something. They want to go somewhere.

“They think and work towards that dream every day.

“I often ask people who tell me their dream, ‘What did you do today to move closer to your dream?’

“Eighty-five percent didn’t do anything. They’re planning to do something next week; they’re just too busy today. These eighty-five percent will probably never see their dream come true.

“Ask yourself the same question: ‘What have I done today to make my dream come true?’ If the answer is nothing specific, then you probably won’t make it unless you change.” ALAN BEAN

Steph T. June 29, 2005 at 8:20 am

Awesome post, Kacey!! (I’m doing the affirmations with you) Anyway – yes, I absolutely treat it like a career, and it helps that my husband sees it that way too, and has from the start.

Writing for a living is my absolute dream, and although the way I got to write full-time (or as full-time as I can with a three year old) is not the ideal way I’d wanted to go about it, (had to quit teaching when daughter was born b/c she had major medical problems.)I still saw it as being led back to my ultimate career choice.

So yeah, I think it helps me that I absolutely love what I’m doing, even though a lot of the time it’s not the easiest to stay positive. But that’s where you guys come in.:rofl:

Mary June 29, 2005 at 8:24 am

I write almost everyday, with a few breaks. That is the most important activity. All the others are good, but they won’t get you published–writing will.

Rene June 29, 2005 at 9:30 am

I do not treat it as a career. I should. I do not get much support from my family with regards to my writing. My dh (the “d” does not stand for “dearest” right now) will pay me lip service with regards to my writing, but I know he doesn’t take it seriously. It actually motivates me to sell. I’m going to sell a book and totally rub his nose in it. That maybe his plan, I could be walking right into it, he’s pretty sneaky.

I do try to write every day. As for having stuff out…sigh…I’ve had the same ms out there for over a year. It is still making the rounds. I have another ms ready to submit, but I don’t want to until the other ms has petered out.

Emily June 29, 2005 at 10:54 am

I’ve been saying I’ve been a serious writer for about a year and a half. Six months ago I made a conscious decision to be a *really* serious writer (quit my job with the husbands support to write full time).

In that time I’ve written 2 300+ pg mas, a novella and a short story. I’ve sold 1 ms(not written this year) and the novella to epubs.

The mental decision I made to be completely serious was probably one of the best things I’ve ever done.

Tori June 29, 2005 at 11:04 am

Ack! I’ve only just realized I’m a hobby writer. Nooooooooo!!!

Amy K June 29, 2005 at 11:19 am

I’m in this for a career, and so are the writers I’m closest too. I guess I have stuff out there most of the time, but it’s only been to one line so far. (I’m slow to finish stories…not so slow on the writing part but turtle pace on the idea phase.)

With the exception of the last couple of weeks, I write every day but force myself to take off two Saturdays a month. It’s something I have to concentrate on. lol

Things I’ve given up…hobbies, definitely. I love to scrapbook, but haven’t for over two years. And I used to quilt, kind of, was just learning, but I just sold/gave away all my quilting stuff. I don’t watch TV with one exception–one show on DVD every night before I go to sleep. It took me a long time to be able to do even that, but now that I do, it’s what I look forward to and how I reward myself for a day of work. :beer:

As for today, I haven’t done anything yet, but the boys are going to Grandma’s this afternoon. The page goal is 10. And in the last two I’ve written 14. So I’m getting back on the horse. :typing:

Melissa June 29, 2005 at 11:27 am

I’ve always wanted writing to be my career. But for some reason, it’s been rather difficult the past few months to really get SERIOUS about it again. I guess it’s because I’ve been hee-hawing over my whole MA degree and wanting to enter the historical profession. Then I think, “No, I want to get a boring day-job so I can come home and write.” Since I started working, I think I work on my writing more – but often, I’m so darn tired at night I just want to crash on the couch.
I just need to win the stinking lottery.

Kelly =) June 29, 2005 at 12:51 pm

Yes, Kacey, I treat myself as a professional in my own mind. I don’t try to spread it around my relatives, though, because I don’t think they’ll consider me one unless I sell a book. But it’s all about being in your own state of mind, not those around you.

I have also giving my love for drawing and creating things, but I have little to write and I have to make use of it. We have to be professional if we want to succeed. =)

Suzanne June 29, 2005 at 6:18 pm

I gave up pretty much all my hobbies except for occasional forays into home decorating and gardening. I gave up keeping my house clean all the time. I gave up my sanity. :crazy2: But I love being a fulltime career writer! It’s the best job in the world!

Teresa June 29, 2005 at 8:06 pm

Great Great Great post Kacey!!! This isn’t a hobby. I’m fortunate my husband believes in me.:love:

Cece June 29, 2005 at 9:44 pm

Great post Kacey! And yes, I treat it like a career though after the last few months, I think I should put myself on probation. :wallbash:

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