“Writing is the only thing that, when I’m doing it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.” ~Gloria Steinem
I’m going to start with a disclaimer here: I’m not entirely comfortable giving this advice. It feels odd to spout off tips about becoming a full-time author when I don’t have a book on the shelves yet.
But in the last month, I’ve been approached, both online and off, by aspiring authors who want to write books for a living, but are uncertain how to go about it. They’re stuck in a job, or even a career, they don’t like. They just want to write, but they need the steady paycheck and the benefits…and the job that provides those things sucks up so much of their life, they rarely have time to sit down and get the stories in their heads on paper.
And that’s what they want to do. It’s the only thing they really, truly want to do. So how to get there?
I was a teacher for six years, and I loved it. I decided to attempt to write a novel and get it published in 2007. Now, as of the beginning of 2013, I have seven books under contract, three in the metaphorical “trunk,” and two works-in-progress. I stopped teaching in 2009, and while I’ve had my financial (and psychological) ups and downs, I’ve been earning a living as a freelance writer for somewhere between three and four years.
Everyone’s path to publication is different, which is another reason throwing out “publishing tips” feels kind of wrong. What worked for one writer may not work for another. But for me, especially back in 2007, reading those types of posts were just as much about pure motivation as it was actually putting the tip into practice.
So in KLN’s new series, The Only Thing, I want to talk about becoming a full-time author – a transition I’m still in the middle of myself. A few areas I plan on covering in future posts include:
Making time to write
Organizing a writing schedule while still working your “real” job
The competition monster (aka: the problem with comparing yourself to other writers)
Owning the label “writer”
Blogging, social media – necessary or not?
When to quit the day job
I’m still coming up with topics to cover, but I’d love to hear what questions you have about becoming a full-time author! I’m not saying I know the answer, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start a conversation. If you have a question, please feel free to enter it in the form below, and I’ll cover it in a future post.