Thursday, April 24, 2014

Full-Time Writer

I have discovered something shocking. I don't think I would like to be a full-time writer. I have always assumed that's what I would do, if my job wasn't in the way. But I took this week off work to write and I'm going a little stir crazy. I'm also watching a lot of daytime T.V. and I've washed nearly every stitch of clothing that I own - I'm actually quite excited about that. I'm also writing a blog post as part of a blog tour - my turn is next Monday. And now I'm writing this post. 

In between all that I am progressing with Beverly, and I'm quite happy with it and really enjoying it. But, I am not utilising this time the way I thought I would. When I have an evening here and a morning there to write I actually make much more use out of it. Could it be, feeling my time is limited helps me to focus?

Maybe it's down to the nature of how I write. I do short sections and then I like to leave them for a while before coming back to them. If dipping in and out is my natural pace then perhaps I would never be suited to full-time writing.

And another thing: I would like to do a bit more marketing for Orla's Code except I have been putting it to one side in order to progress with Beverly. I could have gone away this week or visited home. Why am I in such a rush? Of course there's the desire to complete the novel but I don't have an agent imposing deadlines. I can set my own targets. 

On the other hand, maybe I'm just suffering from a lack of discipline. I hear writers talking about it all the time and I'm like: I don't suffer from that. But that's because I don't usually have enough time to write. Maybe I just have to do what everyone does: turn off the T.V., log out and get on with it!


  1. I can relate, I like to think I would enjoy full time writing as well, but the truth is I'm not sure how disciplined I would be. I always think I don't have enough time to write, but then when I have a period of time available I often find myself pulled in other directions or doing something else. I'd still like to give it a try though. :)

    Good luck with the writing!

    1. Thanks Greg. Interesting to hear your thoughts. I like your site.

  2. Nice post, Fiona. You're right, it can be hard to make good use of all that extra time. I think it's a case of Parkinson's Law, the work expanding to fill the time available. When you've got all day, it's easy to be less productive. I find that even when I do have all day to work on my novel, I tend to max out at about 4 hours. So I stop at that time, and spend the rest of the day doing things that are related to writing, but slightly different - for example, reading, researching, or working on something else like a book review, essay or short story.

    This is completely unscientific, but I have a notion that there's only so much creating you can do before you need to refresh your supply of ideas by doing things like going out into the world, talking to people, reading, or dreaming. If you try to write creatively all day every day, you just run dry. I can sometimes do it for short bursts, but not consistently.

    1. Thanks, Andrew. I remember you saying that you start every day with writing and don't allow yourself to get distracted with other things, such as the internet, until you're finished. Good practice. I tend to do the opposite - feeling distracted from writing while there are other things to do, I do those other things first. Perhaps I would develop a better system if I was doing this long-term. I like Parkinson's Law - I see it in action in the office too - the longer the hours, the more people take coffee breaks.