The Writer’s Dream

I thought about changing the title of the blog to “Where Sky Sharks Fear to Tread” but then I realized that there is nowhere that Sky Sharks fear to tread, and also that they would probably eat me for even implying it.  So.

We’ve all thought it.

If only I didn’t have to go to a day job and stay home and write all the time.

Some of us like our day jobs.  I do, but I would still give it up in a moment for the chance to write.

But then the doubts creep in.  Let’s say I took the plunge, quit my job, and decided I was going to write full-time – would I be able to?  Or would I procrastinate on Twitter for hours and play Pokemon?

I would hope that I’d be able to impose some sort of organizational structure, but I am really easy to distract.  (My husband says I have ADD but I like to think that I am just too awesome to do one thing at a time.)

Still, I dream.

At what point would you make that leap?  When you hit the bestsellers’ list?  When you sell a book?  As soon as you can manage it without your spouse throttling you?

Any ideas on how you’d lay out your day?  How many projects you’d work on at a time?

While we’re dreaming, we might as well plan out the entire thing.


4 responses to this post.

  1. I would have the same problem with distraction, but that hasn’t stopped me from dreaming about it. 😉 I don’t expect to quit my job until I have a stable writing career and am making decent money from it, and/or my SO is making enough to compensate (at which point I’d feel pressure to produce…).

    I’d spend a lot of time on marketing/networking and other business-related things, partly because that seems to be necessary these days and partly because I’m not sure how much I could write in a day on a regular basis anyway. When I’ve gone on retreat with my writers’ group, there are almost no distractions, and I still can’t write or edit more than about 4 hours a day in total…and even then, by the end of the week I’m drained. That might change once I got used to it.

    I’d try to set up some kind of structure. Currently, 9-11 PM is my writing window during the week; I don’t write that whole time, but I know that I can get up to an hour done during that time in between Tweeting and so on. If I were writing at home, I might try two-hour windows before and after lunch. (Or I might try a word count goal or pages edited or whatever.) Bribery with sweet drinks also helps; I might end up spending a fortune at Starbucks.

    Hmm, I think that’s enough rambling.


  2. I’d have to have made the bestseller list before I quit my day job. Having a family to support really changes your perspective on unemployment. OK, not really, it sucks either way, but still, the stakes are MUCH higher now.

    This whole twitter / facebook / marketing yourself / networking thing is super time-consuming. I hope once I’m established in some of these communities, I can dial back the amount of time I’m spending on all this, focus on those places rather than the search. Because if I don’t, between that and the day job and my family, I’ll never find time to write!

    I have a dream, though, once I’ve ‘made it’. The writing study, with its dark wood paneling, wall-to-wall bookcases (filled with Western and Regency Romances, just to confuse visitors), and spacious writing desk. Sound-proof walls, so the kids’ wails for help when the zombies attack won’t disturb me from me writing. And, of course, it would be a secret study, with the only entrance disguised as a bookcase.

    I’ll write longhand, with a fountain pen of course, and then dictate my writing to the wide-eyed and admiring au pair / nanny from Sweden (or Norway), who will enter it into my computer. The missus will keep checking in on us randomly, but she has nothing to fear. The au pair / nanny is a guy named Lars (or Henrick). This is the only truly disappointing aspect of my dream. I wanted a female au pair / nanny, but the missus, even in my fantasy, put her foot down. 😦


    • Re: marketing/networking – Yes, exactly. It would be really nice not to try to juggle day job, writing, and networking. And that’s without adding a contract and deadlines into the mix.

      Re: Westerns and Regencies – For a while I had Bridget Jones’s Diary on my bookshelf next to a dark, hard SF novel called Blindsight. It amused me. Funny thing is, I really enjoyed both of them.

      My dream writing spot is on a deck outside a cabin in the woods, overlooking a lake or mountains or simply lots of trees. In inclement weather I’d write in front of the picture windows instead.


  3. Posted by K.A. Levingston on 2011/05/23 at 10:12 AM

    I’m quitting my job in four weeks.

    I found myself in this odd position where I have two retirement accounts and I’m going back to school full-time, and it was kind of like “well, if I’m going to quit anyways, I might as well take the whole summer off, cash out one of my retirement accounts, and live off that while writing all day.” 3 months of living the dream…

    Of course, I’m a bit panicked and I don’t quite have a plan beyond “get up before noon, put on some kind of pants, and write”. So maybe I should start with some goals, yes?


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