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Is writing your main job?

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
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Nov 23, 2002
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Just coming back to this topic...

I've been working as a freelance writer through this year, and one thing is clear - I have to write everyday or else I don't get paid.

It's made me realize that this would be just as applicable to fiction writing - the need to have a very clear writing schedule that can be clearly kept to. Those big name writers we all love to read are mostly doing this already, but all too often I think people think that fiction writing is about working at your own leisurely pace, getting lots of money fast with a best seller, and continuing at that leisurely pace.

But I'm beginning to see that to take fiction writing seriously means treating it as an actual job - working at it continually, every day - and all those times not writing means not being a writer.

By that I don't mean to challenge what people call themselves, as much as challenge the mindset that fiction writing is an easy and leisurely pursuit. It's a job, it's about running your own business - and I don't think a lot of people really comprehend that. Especially when you also factor in low returns for that work as well.

Now if only I could apply the discipline of my freelance work for my fiction... :)
 

TWErvin2

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Oct 31, 2016
Messages
205
Location
Ohio, USA
Writing is not my main income. Actually, of my three jobs, it comes in 2nd place.

My teaching is my primary career. My other job is serving as a village councilman (it is a lot of work for minimal pay but, like writing, it isn't something done for the income). I do earn enough through writing to pay for family vacations so, while not supporting myself and my family through writing, it does add to the quality of life.
 

CTRandall

I have my very own plant pot!
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Jan 4, 2018
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But I'm beginning to see that to take fiction writing seriously means treating it as an actual job - working at it continually, every day - and all those times not writing means not being a writer.
This is very much true of music, too, and I suspect of all of the arts. I find a lot of students get caught up in Romantic/Hollywood ideas of what it means to be an artist and end up utterly unprepared for the reality of it.
 

Steve Harrison

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Dec 9, 2014
Messages
269
Location
Sydney, Australia
I have had my full time professional writing schedule ready to go for years, but while my writing income remains modest, it looks like the regime will kick in when I retire from my 'real' job and not in the very near term.

I certainly have the capacity to write more, but for the first time in my life I feel that family, friends, lifestyle, work and writing are nicely balanced,
 
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