I realized as I was driving into work how much my life exists in a duality. For example, in my work life, I have responsibilities in at least two specific areas. Part of my time, I take care of my supervisor and the other half I handle budgetary work. Sometimes while balancing those two very different expectations, my boss has me cover for her and I manage the calendar for her boss. Then I come home and I balance creative writing with editing and marketing.
I have balanced these conflicting job responsibilities so long, I’m not sure how I’d cope with reducing my work level to a singular focus. How much more effective could I be as a worker and human being if I were able to spend my waking time writing/creating? Would I create more or would the vacuum of that much excess time/energy consume me?
About this time last year, my husband offered me a choice. I could keep working, or quit and write full time. I have yet to take him up on the offer of following my dream. In part because the writer lifestyle would require some serious belt tightening. To be honest, dear readers, I am not much into belt tightening. Besides, I love my job and the people I work with. I have an opportunity where I work that many people would sacrifice for. Walking away from this feels like shooting myself in the foot. And although I have 10 books finished and contracted, I still don’t feel confident that I can do this writing thing. My previous publisher went belly up and my new publisher…well…while that’s a topic for another blog post.
I can’t seem to cut the cord and just risk being a full time creative soul. How can I turn my back on a consistent paying gig for something that likely won’t pay much more than a bottle of soda pop every week? I think about how I will pay for all my marketing and when needed, an editor. Right now, I could pretty much support owning a horse in full training for the cost of being a writer. Which is fine with me because, like owning a horse, there are fulfilling things about writing and being published. Sure, I wanted to earn some dollars from this writing thing, but in the place I’m at. I have to pay for readers to notice me. I think that’s how it goes right now in the industry.
I pitched my Sci-Fi story at RWA and it re-inspired me to complete my revisions and send it out. However, by the time I get home from the J.O.B. and do my marketing for the current published stuff and my social media’ing my leftover time is pretty limited. If I take the plunge and write full time. I certainly won’t have the $$$ to support the marketing for another book. So, I circle back around to needing the full time job to support my writing habit.
I’d like to think that having an agent would make things smoother but I thought having a publisher would take some of the weight off my shoulders too. I wonder if the agent’s percentage would come out of my pocket if I’m in the negative with my marketing dollars. That’s kind of frightening. (I have heard the arguments towards the good things agents can do for you. My doubt is based on the experiences I’ve had so far in this adventure.)
Maybe it’s time for me to focus on the horse dream again. Get that big red horse I’ve had my eye on for the past year and call this writing experiment completed. Because of the shift in publishers and the year long pause button getting a new publisher, I’ve lost the readers I had who inspired me to continue along to tell them the stories of Ursa and Leo and all the other crazy stuff I cooked up. So, might just be a 10 book chit for RWA and then I tap out. I really do appreciate the readers who started me on the journey. (And if you are one of those people who are reading this, I will send you a previously unpublished story!)
For now, I’ll continue to work and edit/market and polish up the Sci-Fi story and after the fate of that one is decided, I’ll see what steps to take.