Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Full Time Writer

The Full Time Writer: a long way off for me, but from tomorrow for six days, I will get a sense of what it feels like. In order to make significant inroads into my second draft, I've decided to take four days off work and hit it full time. My plan is to work seven and a half hours a day, the minimum amount of hours to do my day job. Yes, as the great writers say, you've got to treat it like a job, and that's what I plan to do.

Besides using the time off to catch up on getting this second draft done, the next six days will give me an opportunity to see what it's like to be doing this gig full time. I'll get a chance to find out whether I can sit in front of my computer and write for complete days, instead of the one or two hours I catch here and there. Good opportunity to experience the daily grind of the full time writer firsthand - definitely worth giving it a test run given it's a major goal in my life.

Of course, there will be established authors out there saying that being a full time writer isn't just about writing. And I agree - there's book tours, festivals, signings, radio and TV, blogs to update, fan emails to answer, editors, agents and publishers to meet, and all the other commitments a writer has these days. I recognise that I can't really experience those things yet - all that will be a separate challenge when the time comes, but at least I will get a chance to see if I enjoy or loathe the writing process on a full time basis. 'Cause if I don't like that part of it, the rest of it won't mean a thing.

This little exercise raises a few intriguing questions - what if after these next six days, I absolutely hate the full time writer malarkey? What if I yearn for my day job, sitting in the front of the computer, playing with spreadsheets and numbers? What if I can't take the pain? Will I give up?

Nah, probably not. But hey, it's a good excuse to post a series of blogs about the experience - and it's worth it just for the possibility that I'll stand up from my desk on Monday night and scream - I WANT TO DO MORE OF THIS!!!


Scarlett Parrish said...

I think if you're a writer you'll love it. It takes a lot of self-discipline 'cause you'll be your own boss, but think of the progress you'll make!

Yes - WILL make. None of this 'what if' malarkey for you.

And thank you for giving me the opportunity to use the word 'malarkey' in a blog comment. :D

Daryl said...

My pleasure - it should be used more often. Might slip it into my novel!

So far so good on the writing front - despite the council deciding that this week is a good week to dig up the road outside my flat!