Now, I need to ask all of you pros: Do any of you have jobs other than writing?
Writing Blog |
Linda gave me the courage to try to answer your questions. I didn't really think I was worthy to be called a pro. But I am (sort of). I've been paid for my writing. I've been paid to fix the writing of others. That counts even if the jobs are few and far between.
I have no other job right now other than cleaning up after the dogs and myself, doing dishes, and walking the dogs. Cooking right now is part of my writing. How's that for multi-tasking? This weekend we're trying out a pickle recipe and finding something to do with the two okra pods from our one okra plant. Tonight it's oven fried French fries. (OOPS! Forgot laundry! That's for tomorrow.) Cooking's more fun than dishes or laundry and sometimes more fun than walking the dogs.
I've written or proofread for several employers. It seems there was always time to do a good job - except once when I had to proof about 20 pages of copy while trying to do 18 to 36 hours of work in a ten hour day and they moved my proofing deadline up at the last minute (while I was on the phone with an insistent customer).
I learned deadlines early. Think I was ten or eleven. No, it wasn't for school assignments. It was for newspaper filler. You never, ever, blow off a deadline. Your credibility as a writer is gone if you do. Actually, even if I'm not writing for an assignment, I'll give myself a deadline. Self-imposed deadlines are easier to change but you had better have an awfully good reason.
I work primarily at home. No kids and two dogs gives me some freedom but I love my dogs. ;-) I wrote at the day job once when the corporate computer was down. That's a long story. Other than that, I only write at work when I'm writing for work. (That's becoming ancient history.) I used to write on the beach in the '80s. It was fun, inspiring, and it drew a crowd. That was long before laptops and six-hour batteries.
I get ideas working at home much the same way I got ideas when I had the dreaded day job. (Except for the income, I don't miss the day job at all.) I read the news. I look around me. I make soup from scratch. Everything gives me ideas. I'd tell you about the idea store in Utica, New York, but it's a lie.
Do I read other books? Of course! Writers must read. We read other writers. We read current trends. We read how-to books. I read soup cans and cereal boxes. Writers read everything! You never know where an idea is hidden.
Don't be in a hurry to quit that day job. The economy stinks and some writers write for nothing or for $10 when they used to expect $250. Do you know how much junk you've got to crank out for $10 an article? (It would be junk, too, for the amount you'd have to produce every day/week/month to make a living.)
Working from home in your own business is not a vacation where you can go to Starbucks and meet with friends. It's like having a day job where you are the boss who keeps you on track. Your success depends much on how good a boss you can be to yourself.