It’s the 1st Wednesday of the month again. That’s when I take part in Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group. Thank you to the December 4 IWSG co-hosts: Tonja Drecker, Beverly Stowe McClure, Nicki Elson, and Tyrean Martinson! Today we will explore living the dream: the life of a writer, as I answer the IWSG question for December 4th:
“Let’s play a game. Imagine. Role-play. How would you describe your future writer self, your life and what it looks and feels like if you were living the dream? Or if you are already there, what does it look and feel like? Tell the rest of us. What would you change or improve?”
What does the ideal life of a writer look like (to me)?
The main thing is I would be able to support my family doing what I love—writing. I recently had the opportunity to do some freelance blogging and actually get paid for it. After I wrote my last post for the gig, I was a little bit sad. Each post in the series of 6 was a new challenge that I really enjoyed.
The life of a writer includes deadlines
Part of the challenge was the deadline. I made it by a cat’s whisker! In fact, It is 3:07 am and I am up because this post needs to be published by 7 am on my blog. Could I fudge and put it up late? Sure. Could I skip it altogether this week? Of course! After all, it’s my blog (I did it the past 2 weeks). But then, I wouldn’t be meeting my deadline or my readers’ expectations. Whether you are writing for your own blog, someone else’s, or you are writing the next great American novel, it is important to meet your deadlines. That’s professionalism.
The life of a writer means doing your research
Sure you need to research your subject. But, you also need to research your audience. What do they need? What do they want? Remember that freelance gig I got? I originally applied for a job with the company. I didn’t get it, but it was still worth trying. A couple of months later I got an email telling me that I was their 2nd choice and that now they were swamped with work and wondered if I would want to write a few posts for them. Of course, I said yes. I liked the company and the way they did business. Plus, it meant being able to write and make some money.
When I was preparing for the interview I looked up one of their clients and brainstormed a list of topics I could write about for the client. I never even used the information in the interview. It just never came up, but it was still on my phone, 2 months later when they offered me the freelance job. Guess what? That client happened to be one of the businesses that I would be writing blog posts for.
Research is never a wasted effort.
The life of a writer is more than just writing
My favorite part of writing is crafting the rough draft into a polished final product. I like to have a bit of time so I can play with the words and find the best way to express the thoughts and feelings of the piece. What voice does the piece require to transport the reader into the world about which you are writing? That world could be a fantasy world in a story or it could be some part of our very interesting and real world. For example, in one piece I wrote for an LA law office, I had to delve into the nitty-gritty world of terroristic threats.
What’s my dream life, as a writer?
My dream is to be able to survive on my writing income alone. because my wallet was getting a bit thin, I recently took a job as a cashier for ALDI. It’s a great job. I believe in the company’s vision and the culture within my store is fantastic. My manager is great and all of my coworkers really have a team ethic. The big downside is that my writing schedule has really taken a hit. Have you noticed how many book reviews I’ve done lately? That’s because they are the only posts I have time to write.
How do I get there?
I once read that you should expect to work hard and work consistently for 10 years on your writing before you really start to break through and make some money. That sounds grim, but I believe it. I’ve read enough author bios to see the pattern. I’m only halfway there, so I feel good about my progress so far. I’ll feel a lot better if I can keep pushing forward. Little victories mean a lot for your mental fortitude.
I can see myself writing for a living. The life of a writer has always been my dream. I just got an email asking if I could do a few posts in December, as well. Heck yeah, I can!
What Are YOUR Thoughts?
I’d love to hear in the comment section, below. I appreciate my readers as well as the writing community. To show that appreciation, I use Comment Luv. Just leave a comment below and your latest post will get a link next to it. Thank you!
I am an author, writer, and speaker and homeschooling mom of 3. Since doctors diagnosed my husband, Dan with stage IV lung cancer in 2012, I’ve focused my writing and speaking on helping cancer patients and their families advocate for themselves and live life to the fullest, in spite of their illness. My goal is to help people face cancer with grace. My books are available at Amazon.com:
I also blog about living with cancer at Facing Cancer with Grace.