Sitting in a quiet, secluded cabin surrounded by trees, marvelling at the lake beyond the window as we spend our days writing, releasing a book every year or so and grinning as the royalties come rolling in; it’s a dream that many writers have but a reality for so very few.
The truth is that most writers, be they budding, self-published, traditionally published or otherwise, will be able to relate to the ongoing struggle of maintaining both their beloved writing adventures and a day job that helps pay the bills. Maintaining a steady income from selling books is not easy after all and the road to that lifestyle is a long and difficult one.
My work/writing balance is somewhat unorthodox however, as my day job is also as a writer. I do freelance work for blogs, websites and local magazines. I love it – and feel hugely lucky to be earning money for producing the written word – but it’s the more creative and open world of prose and poetry that rules my heart. As side jobs go for authors, it’s fantastic, as it means in all aspects of my work life, I can call myself a writer, plus it means I get to flex my writing muscles and try out a broad variety of different styles and topics.
It can be frustrating sometimes though. If you write in any capacity, hopefully you will agree that while not physical at all, it can be very tiring for the brain. This means that on days when I have several freelance assignments to meet, my mind has turned to something of a pile of mush by the time I am done, meaning little or no creative work is possible. Having just emerged from a couple of busy weeks work-wise, I can now appreciate how much it affected my work in progress, which sits feeling sadly neglected of late. Don’t get me wrong, I do really enjoy my freelance work, as being a writer in any shape or form is a dream come true but must admit I do sometimes crave extra time to write the stories forced for now to live inside my head.
I imagine no matter your area of work, it plays a role in your ability to write creatively and so would love to hear about other people’s experiences in balancing the different aspects of their lives.
Are you lucky enough to write fiction full-time? Does your extra job take up a lot of time and energy? How do you divide your time to manage both?