Saturday, September 19, 2015

Full-Time Writer? Well, I Quit~@KarynGerrard #Opinion #Writing #Publishing


How's that title for click bait? *wink* Actually this is an addition/epilogue to my previous post EXPECTATIONS, DISAPPOINTMENTS AND STRESS, LET IT GO

Now to explain. I signed multiple contracts a few months ago with a publisher and trilled "I'm now a full-time writer!"

Well, I've come to the conclusion that I don't want to be one. And looking inward (and backward), It seems I never did.

So here it is: I don't have to work. I've done my time with the EDJ  'every day job' for more than twenty-five years. When we moved to this small town some time ago, I was relieved I didn't have to work anymore.
Yes, I'm lucky. Damned lucky. I know there are a lot of talented writers out there who would kill to be home all day and pursue a career as a published author.

So after all those years working, what did I do to pass the time? One thing I did was start to play the Sims. By the time Sims 2 rolled around, I found out there was a neat in-game feature where you could take pictures and write a 'story' to accompany the pictures. Like a graphic novel. Imagine my surprise when I found this was a 'thing', and people had blogs and posted their stories. Cool!
I abandoned writing in my early twenties, so now I could have a little fun with it. So I started a blog, got some readers, and posted my stories.

In late 2010, I wondered if I could take one of the sim stories and turn it into a manuscript. Timeless Heart was born. The hubs kept insisting I submit it. Nah. I'm not a writer. I was just fooling around, having some fun. So for shits and giggles I googled digital romance publishers and finally bit the bullet and submitted it. The story was offered a contract in March 2011. Needless to say, I don't play the Sims anymore.

I didn't expect this. I didn't plan for it. I had no 'goals' in place. So right out of the gate I never thought of this as a career. Or a full-time job. Yes, I thought of it as a hobby. *gasp*

I know, writers are lining to slap me silly because "You're getting paid, it is NOT a hobby!" Yeah, I get it. What about the guy who does a little woodworking on the side and sells a few pieces? It's still a hobby, right?
Anyway, parse it whatever way you wish. It is subjective. So for the record, it's not a hobby.

I've read all the stuff on-line written by successful writers telling me what I have to do to be a success just like them. I have to take myself "seriously", think of this as a career or I am doomed. Well, I soon found I was trying to do so much it left no time for writing or living my life and enjoying my 'retirement'.

Flash forward to 2015. I've realized the reason I started doing this in the first place was to have fun. I also realized at this stage of my life, I don't want a full-time job. So I am down-grading myself to part-time/casual worker who does take her writing seriously.

There is a lot going on in my personal life (health issues, etc) that has further led me to this epiphany, in fact, I just pulled a submission from a publisher because I need to slow everything down. I've also cut back on blogging and social media.

Those multiple contracts? I didn't pursue them, the publisher reached out to me. I am very grateful for the opportunity. But I will slowly work on them at my own pace, glad I have the luxury of being home all day and able to take my time. Some days I wake up and say "I don't feel like writing today. Or going on social media." So thankful I have the option.

The bottom line is everyone approaches this is a different way. There is no 'right' or 'wrong' way to write, be published, or anything connected with it.

I am a storyteller who happened to become a published author. I've come a long way in four years, especially in my writing. I am always learning. But the one thing I learned to accept is I will be doing this my way, not what others tell me. For at the end of the day, I do this for me. No one else.

Full-time writer? No. A writer who writes when the mood strikes her, and if the story sells to a publisher, all the better? Yes. Doing this lets me escape the 'everyday grind', not become the everyday grind. It further reminds me why this is called the 'the daily grind' to begin with, because it can grind you down. And stress you out. And if you let it, break your heart.

I refuse to let any of it happen. I like to write this stuff down on my blog to remind myself.
My way. On my schedule.

Cheers,

Happy and relaxing writing~


14 comments:

  1. Such a great post. There is nothing wrong with balancing writing with the other aspects of your life. Go for it!

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    1. Thanks Pat, it was starting to overwhelm everything, and when dealing with other personal things, something had to give. I made the right choice. Thanks for commenting!

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  2. Karyn, thanks for this great article. I particularly love it because I'm in exactly the same place. Hi, partner.

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  3. Hi Arlene! I just don't have it in me to become a writing sweatshop, and to keep it fun, I've got to cut back. thanks for commenting!

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  4. Great post Karyn! I don't want writing to become a job, finally to become something I hate to do. I started doing it for fun, and when it's not, it won't be for me.

    Dottie :)

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    1. Exactly Dottie. I dealt with the grind when I worked for 25 years, I don't need or want it any more. thanks for commenting!

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  5. Wonderful post, Karyn!! You know what, I'm in the same boat, sitting right next to you. I was a full-time stay-at-home-mom for 25 or so years. I also took very good care of my sweet mom, holding her hand in her room in my home when she left this world. I never had a moment to think past what other needed from me. Now that my kids are on their own--kind of--- I thought this was my time to be me. Writing was going to be how I enjoyed my day. Well, it still is---except for the pressure I put on myself, the pressure to be out there, being an author---write-publish-write some more--publish some more! Where did my life go? I'm closing everything and having a glass of wine of my deck in your honor, Karyn!

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    1. Wonderful Nancy, and I agree about the pressure. And I salute you with a glass of wine as I am about to take this long weekend hre in Canada for myself. Cheers!

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  6. As I said on your FB entry, I had to take a "mental sorbet" until I could write again. I have never been a full-time author; it never paid enough to support my family. It is my flight of fancy, my great escape, my getaway - and I'm glad to share it with others. That's as it should be. You've got the right idea.

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    1. good way to put it, a getaway, that 's what it is for me. And I want it to stay that way. thanks for commenting!

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  7. This was a very brave and well thought out post. There is so much pressure applied to authors to put out multiple books per year, in order to compete with the market. It sucks the joy right out of the creative process! I wish you luck in your writing endeavors and speedy healing with your health issues. Enjoy your "you" time and make the most of it. :D

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    1. Yes, pressure. I don't want it. thanks Jennifer, I intend to not let this overwhelm me. Cheers for commenting!

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