Thursday, December 03, 2009

Writing vs Day Job and Family

  First of all, I object strenuously said the lawyer--no, really just me when it comes to the term "Day Job".

Day Job says writers work at night, which in most cases is true. But working for 6-8 hours whenever during the day and 7 days a week, is really a full time job, even with regular paycheck employment.

Writing is not regular paycheck employment. But instead of Day Job, I like the term, Regular Pay job.

Recently I was conversing with a friend, who had a friend (and a lot of writerly stuff goes like that) who wanted to write. But said the first friend, the writer-friend had a family and a job and didn't have time to write.

This lament is way too familiar: I have a day job and a family and I don't have time.

To the second party, my response is the best quote, gotten from a busy Regular-Paycheck person who said, "I write around the corners of my life." This says, he made time to hold a necessary insurance and benefits Regular Paycheck job, plus tend his family life AND write.

I'm impatient with this no-time to write excuse, based on my own experience. At one time, I did have a Regular Paycheck job, a family and two publishers. Two Publishers, so that said I was under contract to deliver manuscripts etc. at specific due dates. I did, so I know from experience that if a writer wants to write, he will make time, not find it.

Here we are in the busy season and still writing and dealing with necessary writerly business. Very difficult during the holidays. Or the summer. Or the spring, or fall. I'm writing full-time now and time and scheduling is still a challenge as business needs deepen as the career rises or changes. Now Facebook and Twitter and other promotional aspects take writing time, plus blogging, etc.

As for writing with a Regular Paycheck job and a family, watch for the next installment of Writers Survival Guide and I'll lay out my schedule. You may have some tips to share, too.

8 comments:

Kathy said...

Thank you for making timeto write since I so enjoy reading your product. In fact I just pulled out Triplets series to reread.

Cait London said...

You're welcome, Kathy. I enjoy this blog and my others as they touch other parts of my life.

I'm so glad you like my triplets. They did really well for me, and I'm still attached. I've many requests to write about their mother and to continue the series.

Shirley said...

Good advice, Cait. Life will always get in the way. We have to learn to work around it and MAKE time for the things we want to accomplish.

Cait said...

Writing can also be a handy, brief, safe mental spot when life is churning really badly around you and you need a break. Somewhere to go when times are just too tough.

LINDA MCMAKEN said...

Great quote! In fact, I think I have some many corners I'm writing around, that I'm looking like a geometric anomoly!

Magdalena Scott said...

I'm late getting to read this, but definitely appreciate the advice. Thank you, Cait!

Angela Drake said...

I so understand the end of the year stuff. I'm leaving tomorrow to lock myself away in a hotel room to get some of the promotional stuff out of the way. With a toddler in the house, it's the only way I'm going to get this stuff done uninterrupted.

Cait said...

Lots of writers do the hotel-room thing, esp when on deadline. I did all that with children in the house and it wasn't easy :) A motel room would have been perfect. Good luck on that.