Friday, April 6, 2012

F is for FTW

Not that FTW, but full-time writer! Letting go of the day-job to write full-time is a dream many of us writers share, but I wonder if we've considered the dream realistically.

In my fantasy, FTW me rolls out of bed everyday without the assistance of an alarm, boils a pot of tea, and settles down in her pajamas to joyously write without another care in the world. Or maybe heads to the local cafe where she can people-watch between writing scenes. FTW me is always inspired and doesn't even remember what it was like to feel burned out.

This isn't really how it would work. Sure, I'd get to hang out in my pajamas all day if I wanted to. But I would need to adhere to some sort of actual schedule if I planned on being productive. And I would have to set boundaries with my family and friends - I don't think it would be easy making people understand that yes, I am home all day, but no, I do not have time to run to the grocery store, watch the kids for a couple of hours, or walk someone's dog. And in order to make everyone else respect my working time at home just as they would regular working hours, I'd have to structure my hours and probably set aside a designated work area.

That doesn't sound so hard, but there would be other things to get used to as well. What about the social aspect of my day-job? Writing can be a solitary experience, which is actually one of the things I love about it. But would that change when most of my day was spent alone? And what if I wasn't inspired? With a day-job, I can more or less wait for inspiration to strike, but a FTW has to write daily, inspired or not. Could a lack of inspiration lead to writer's block?

Transition usually isn't the easiest thing in the world and a dream can be built up to the point where it makes transitioning into that dream even more difficult. I know I'm guilty of sometimes thinking all my problems would be solved if I could just write full time. But nothing is ever that easy. Not to say that it isn't still my dream, but I've realized I need to look at it more realistically now to make sure that I can fully enjoy it without being disappointed should it one day become my reality.

What about you? Do you dream of writing full time? Why or why not? And do you think it would be difficult to transition into the life of a FTW?

18 comments:

  1. I write full time, but as a freelancer, and all the challenges you mentioned are spot on. The house doesn't get cleaned during working hours, and I don't have time to meet friends on their day off just because I happen to be at home. It's very hard to make people understand.

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    1. I can only imagine how hard it would be to enforce home working hours in a way that didn't hurt friends/family's feelings or feeling guilty yourself. It sounds like you've found a way to make it work though if you're still writing full time :)

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  2. Ooh, great post. I think all of the difficulties of working at home are right. I've read that Judy Blume goes to her office, off-site, every morning and drafts until noon, goes home for lunch, then goes back after to edit. I wonder how often she stares at a blank screen? :)

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    1. An off-site office would certainly help! But, maybe a coffeehouse would do :)

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  3. FTW FTW!

    I'd love to that, but I can't see it working well in my area of interest.
    Which is fine really. I think if I did go full time then it would stop being fun and then be a job. ;)

    I am trying to read all the A to Z blogs, but coming back to the ones I really like.
    Looking forward to seeing what you do all month!

    Tim
    The Other Side
    The Freedom of Nonbelief

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    1. I dont think writing would stop being fun for me - it would be amazing to be able to combine something I love doing with my actual job :D

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  4. My "day job" is part time, and extremely part time this time of the year (I haven't had a shift in a couple of weeks now), so I get a taste of what writing full time would be like. I am sad to report I haven't yet figure it out... except for the being in my pajamas all day part anyway.

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    1. The pajamas bit is the important part anyways ;) But on a more serious note, I think a part-time job where the writing gets to take priority but there's still some security and structure sounds like a good way to go - good luck and I really hope you figure it out!

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  5. I love your FTW fantasy A.K., when I read it I thought, yes, wouldn't that be nice! Lol! I like to think we can have a little bit of that feeling now. That being a PTW (part time writer) can incorporate some of those wonderful ideals (especially the cafe bit ;) I'm finding the iPad helps me a bit. I recently went on a camping / cycling trip for a week, took the iPad and managed to write two chapters amongst the trees. I was very proud of myself. You know I recently wrote a blog post on scheduling your writing, well don't tell anyone but it seems to be working! Everyday I have been losing myself to my writing for an hour. Of course all the worries of life return to me after that hour, but they're firmly shut out when I'm writing!

    Interesting post A.K. :)

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    1. I'm so glad to hear that your writing schedule is working!! And writing for a few hours in the forest sounds amazing :)

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  6. You bet I do...of course, we depend on my half of the income to do things like eat and pay bills, so unless we win a million dollars, it's not going to happen. Sigh.

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    1. Ah, yeah, it's the same over here...how important are food, housing, electricity, anyways? lol

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  7. Hello! My first visit, will visit you again. Seriously, I thoroughly enjoyed your posts. Congrats for your work. If you wish to follow back that would be great I'm at http://nelsonsouzza.blogspot.com
    Thanks for sharing!
    Happy Easter my dear friend!

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    1. Thank you for visiting :) Happy Easter to you too and I will happily check out your blog!

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  8. I think next year I will get a taste of writing full time. Both my kids will be in school all day. We will see how that goes. I seem to recall Stephen King having good pointers for setting a schedule and such in "On Writing," but it has been awhile since I read it.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

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    1. Good luck! That sounds like a great opportunity to test out the full time writing scheduled :)

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  9. I have the good fortune to be a professional blogger - which isn't the same as a professional writer, exactly, because I am a web editor, too, and I have to slog through formatting and code - and I work part time at home while also raising two little boys. I managed to get into a routine which is crucial to my productivity (see my post for The Letter I). As another commenter noted, it is hard to make people understand that I don't just sit around all day waiting to have lunch with them, AND it is hard to resist housework, too. Still, those drawbacks are not bad enough to make me want to go to an office job. I love what I do. And if you wonder what you'd do if your ideas didn't flow on schedule? The Internet. That's what you would do! Curse and a blessing.

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    1. Professional blogger sounds much more difficult than professional writer in a way - being held responsible by so many people for actual information and insight on a regular basis could be stress-inducing, I imagine. But if you love what you're doing then I suppose the stress is worth it :) (not like some people's office jobs...haha)

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