People have been asking me what it’s like to be a full-time writer. I’m only a week in, but my standard answer is: wonderful…and profoundly weird.
I’m very grateful. SO grateful. It is a dream come true. But it is also a big change–a rather seismic shift in my life. Leaving the job I’ve been at for all of my adult life. Having time–too much time, maybe–to think about these dreams coming true, reflecting in a way I haven’t been able for the last four months because of the insane deadlines. (Is this really happening? I do not feel like I deserve it.)
I imagine that as we get closer to BORN WICKED’s release and promo things ramp up, along with the first-drafting of book2, it will be exponentially busier. But at the moment: How do I structure my day? When do I stick to the to-do list and when do I go off-plan? When I start working on book2 in a few weeks, what is a reasonable day’s writing goal? Should I give myself weekends or days off?
I can make to-do lists and diligently cross off ALL THE THINGS or I can lounge around and read a book all day. I can’t blame day jobbery and business for things I don’t get done. It’s me. All my responsibility.
That’s…a lot of responsibility.
But it’s also an opportunity. I know some days will be full of crazy-happy emails and crazy-making emails and stress and surprises because that’s how publishing rolls. But in the day-to-day…what do I want my life to look like? What are the components of my ideal, sustainable creative life? I’ve been thinking a lot about Sara Zarr’s amazing talk on that subject at SCBWI NY last winter. Remembering wistful, wine-drenched talks on the porch with my husband and conversations with friends and daydreams.
Other full-time writers out there…what do your days look like? Any tips for a newbie?