This is What Happens When Writing is Your Job

  1. You have a reason to make time for writing

Before I heard about my publishing contract, I often used to feel guilty for spending time on writing. I would think about all the things that needed to be done, and since my writing was something I did for me, it was easy to set it aside for another, “more convenient” time. Now my writing time is justified because it’s work time. It’s a job that will help me to earn a living, and I have deadlines to keep…guilt free.

  1. You actually have to write

It’s easy to say that you should make time for writing, but you actually have to write for it to be effective. It’s not as simple as it sounds. Around the same time that I heard about my book, I also took on another freelance project, which meant a third job, early mornings and late evenings.

Though I have deadlines for my writing, they’re not as immediate as those for my other two jobs. For a few days I gave into the temptation of focusing on my other work, but I couldn’t stop thinking about writing. My characters and word counts wouldn’t leave my mind. And that’s when I realised that writing is my job now, so making time for it is just as important as the other things I have to do.

  1. You need to talk about writing

In the same way you need to talk about a day at work, you’ll need to talk about your writing. Perhaps even more so because writing is such a solitary activity. Whenever my husband or friends ask me about how my writing is going, I gladly tell them (in more detail than I think they might have wanted to know). Because you can have a bad day while writing, too…sometimes your characters annoy you in the same way a colleague can, and you don’t get nearly as much done that day as you would have liked to.

But even though writing is a job for me now, it’s definitely one I enjoy and appreciate more than any other I’ve had!

Do you write for a living? How has your life changed since it’s become your job?

Why You Should Support People

I’ve been working quite hard on making my dreams come true over the last few months. I’ve worked on revising old ideas, started writing new books, and tried to blog about my experiences. I’ve also been doing freelance work while actively seeking more to help pay the bills.

It’s challenging.

Not that I thought it would be clear sailing, of course. But you only truly realise the sacrifice it takes to follow your dreams when you’re faced with a leaking roof in your house. When you think about how if you worked a 9-to-5, maybe that leak wouldn’t seem so daunting. When you think about how much more you would like to contribute to your household. When you wish that your life was already where you’d like it to be.

These thoughts and feelings are the reality of following dreams. Especially when that dream takes (a lot of) work before it pays.

Being in that situation makes you realise how much support means. An encouraging word about following your dreams from a friend can make a slow day not seem like a waste. A like on a blog post or a retweet from a stranger can be the thing that makes you think that maybe, just maybe, what you’re doing isn’t crazy. That maybe the sacrifice is worth it.

Which is why I support those following their dreams.

I’ve actively tried to read fellow writers’ blogs, vote on competitions where required, retweet when widespread attention would help. I’ve sent messages of encouragement to friends and family who are trying to follow their dreams. And even to those who aren’t because they haven’t found what that dream is yet, or if they simply aren’t in that dream job.

I usually ask myself the following:

Is this person doing something that makes them happy? Is following this path unconventional and not considered “safe”? Have they been making sacrifices to do it? If any of the answers to these questions are yes (and probably all of them are), I ask myself how I can help. If a share on Facebook, retweet on Twitter, read or like on a blog will help, I do it.

Because something so small from me can mean the world to them.

I challenge you to do this today, and share with me if it felt good. Because I guarantee you, it will!