Writing Fulltime

Drinking problem? I’d say so – this is 2 days’ worth.

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Writing fulltime used to be my dream. Part of the reason I pushed myself so hard was that I could make enough of a living to quit teaching and stay home. (Changing to the new school has dimmed this desire somewhat – if Hot Shot had been rejected while I was still teaching at the other school, I would have been devastated – it was my chance for escape.)

What would change about my life if I was a fulltime writer?

I try to test this every summer vacation, pretend that I’m a fulltime writer, try to discipline myself accordingly. Every summer, I get in the swing of things JUST in time to go back to work.

So, what would change?

I’ve been able to consistently write about 9 pages a day. 320/9 is a rough draft, at least, in 36 days. It’s been taking me 3-4 days to revise each chapter. At approximately 20 chapters, that’s 60-80additional days. So, a book in 120 days? 4 months? That’s three books a year, no time off in between. When I was music teacher, I could do that.

I’d have time to read, as I did yesterday.

I’d have a mostly clean house, especially since the boy would be in school all day and wouldn’t be shedding socks/leaving glasses/food wrappers around the house.

I would say I’d exercise, but that’s just a lie.

Not so now that I’m in the classroom. By the time I get home, I’m lucky to stay up till 9. 2-3 pages a day is good during that time. My creative energy is gone – I’m either using it for lesson plans, centers, modifications, something other than writing. Still, I wrote a book this past school year, revised 2 more. That’s pretty respectable, if I could write a book during school, write another during the summer. Yes, I sacrifice a lot by writing during the school year, but not as much as I’d sacrifice if I couldn’t make the house payment.

So unless I start getting multi-book contracts (or I get a new terrible principal), I’ll keep the day job.

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12 comments:

Dixie Belle said...

Mary: I know where you are coming from! The day job just sucks up your energy, especially the older you get. LOL Anyway, that is why I recently changed to a 3-11 job. I really love it as I get to come home and go to bed. Then get up perky in the morning. So I could write. Okay, and here I am blogging! LOL Seriously, it is hard to write and work full time. I admire all who do it.

Peggy said...

Mary, a couple years ago I did quit my job. I hated it. I mean, I really hated it. I hated every single morning as my footsteps brought me that much closer to the building. I knew a part of it was resentment. This God-awful job was draining me completely and leaving me no energy to write at the end of the day. This was a job, not a career. So there was no passion lost when I quit. I've been home ever since, and let me tell ya. I was meant to do this. I love writing everyday (now if I can only get payed, lol). And don't mistake, we struggle to get by without that second income. But there lies the proof of your passion. Willing to do this and not get payed. Someday, I know, I have to go back to the real world of working, but for now I am thoroughly enjoying this chapter of my life.

Peggy

MaryF said...

Peggy, the year before last I was in the same situation. Hated my job. Got sick driving down the road to it. It was one of those jobs that if I'd had a blog, I would have been fired for blogging about it. The principal was beyond evil, and she drained so much of my energy, more than the students did. Good for you for saving your creativity and sucking it up to quit your job. That's really brave.

Dixie, that's a great compromise. Myself, I'd be worthless at 9 PM ;) I love that you have a plan!

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

Mary, I'd love to quit my job and write full-time, but I learned when I was unemployed for almost a year, that it's extremely hard to motivate myself without a day job. Maybe if I had contracts to fulfill. The chaos at work allows me to write. I wrote a 400 page book in two months, writing ten pages a day at work.

MaryF said...

Elizabeth, I'm EXACTLY the same. I need the schedule, I think, to keep me on track. I've done better being home this month, but I've forced myself into a schedule. I have to have structure.

Wow on the 10 pages a day at work!

Anonymous said...

Mar, I am as addicted to Diet Vanilla Pepsi as I am to Gerard Butler. Thanks for the pics of both my addictions! LOL I think my two day stack of cans is just slightly smaller than yours.

As you know, I work part-time in teaching and I write part-time. I need both. There is too much on my plate for any more pressure beyond this. I'm striving to keep a balance---so far, so good. I need to whip up a new idea for submission to Triskelion, and that is a bit hard for me at the moment...but if I give it a bit of "cooking time", it will come. I do honor those who work and write full time...I think anyone who does that is amazing. But I am happy as I am, where I am.

JoAnn

MaryF said...

LOL, JoAnn. I admit, I'm running out of Gerry pictures.

I think you're doing great as far as balancing. As for Triskelion, have you got an old ms finished that you could revise and submit?

I just finished Harry Potter and cried like a baby for the last 50 pages. Book Seven will have to be a big book to tie up all the loose ends.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read a single HP book yet! My daughter has the first one...I may have to steal it and read it myself! No, my old ms are not really workable for Triskelion...nor do I think any of them should see the light of day! I wish my contract would get here in the mail---I will feel so much better when I sign and I feel it is "official"! Until then, the pessimistic side of me keeps wondering if I am only dreaming this. :) Still mulling over ideas...their suspense line is good, as is their paranormal...but there's also the allure of writing something a bit spicier! Where to go next? I'm not sure yet. It's just nice to be having this to think about, at this point... :)

I want you to know I'm eating fruit right now instead of ingesting another Diet Vanilla Pepsi...at present...LOL

JoAnn

MaryF said...

Well, JoAnn, you have that trilogy idea (which I think you should save for ST), and you have the sexy principal story. If I had any paranormal ideas, I'd give them to you!

I'm refraining from another DC, but it ain't easy. I think I'll make a glass of tea.

MaryF said...

Oh, and you HAVE to read the HP books. Amazing what that woman does with world building.

Linda Winfree said...

First, congrats on finalling!

I can so empathize with the "quit teaching and write full time" dream.

I figured out how much I'd have to bank to be able to do so. I have to SELL and then sell a LOT of books.

But like you, I get tons of writing done over the summer and it never fails that I hit the stride in my WIP just as pre-planning begins. :-)

MaryF said...

Linda, yep, I figure I'd have to sell at least 3 books a year to save enough to be able to quit. I may be retired by then!

I'm hoping to be done before school starts, though I have to go back 3 times the next two weeks :(

Thanks for the congratulations!

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MJFredrick
I'm a mom, a wife, a teacher and a writer. I have five cats and a dog to keep me company. I love bookstores and libraries and Netflix - movies are my greatest weakness.
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