…when writing becomes a vocation and not just an enjoyable hobby!
While I admire anyone who loves to express themselves through their writing, there comes a time when we all have to choose between continuing with what to us is an enjoyable hobby, and taking it up as a full time vocation. Please note that I did say vocation and not occupation. There is a marked difference…
It takes an awful amount of guts and determination on your part to take that giant leap into the uncertain world of literature, often for little monetary gain let alone plaudits for your work from the reading public and your peers. Apart from anything else you can expect to endure a lot of heartache, angst and sleepless nights as I can personally vouch for from my own experience gleaned over the past twenty-four years as a relatively successful published Indie author.
Now where was I? Oh yes – I was about to say that I rarely if ever get a good night’s sleep when writing a new book, at least until the first draft is finished. Nagging thoughts about something in the story literally wake me every night anywhere from midnight to four or five am. The downside of getting up so early is that I’m lucky if I’m still awake after six-thirty pm. So relaxing in front of the television in the evening (in other words – vegging out) doesn’t happen these days.
While the enthusiastic amateur loves the idea of writing thousands of words while engaging in a completely pointless writing phenomena like Nanowrimo believing it makes them a bonifide writer, it doesn’t! Some hard working writers I know in the traditional publishing world must set themselves a daily word count in the multiples of thousands, due to the demands of their agents and publishers. However as an Indie, meaning I’m responsible for every step in publishing a book myself, I do not follow suit. Nor would I want to ever again!!! In my case I don’t see the point in churning out thousands of words each day, which in all probability will end up being edited out as totally nonsensicle by your’s truly, before I hand my MS over to a trusted few fellow published authors for further scrutiny.
Instead I tend to write between two to five hundred words, (the latter being roughly the length of this blog post) knowing full well that when I do go back over them, that in all likelyhood three quarters will either get deleted or be re-written so many times that in the end they bear little or no resemblance to the first attempt, before I feel I can move on to the next part of the story. Even when writing posts like this one, I spend more time re-writing than anything else.
Writing full time requires total dedication and a will of iron on your part. One last thing for you to remember – what works for me won’t necessarily work for you. But at least now you know how this writer works…