|photo Jane Ayres|
I wrote this last year.
"I think there are arguments for doing a job in parallel with a writing career. I've never been a full time writer and don't think I would want to, because I enjoy and am inspired by interactions with people and different experiences. I've had a full time salaried job for most of my working life and when I did, I fantasised about giving it all up to be a writer. This made me value my precious writing time and I probably worked harder as a result, because I was striving for success. I had more self discipline too. When I went part time (first down to 4 days pw, then 3.5, then 3 days) my intention was to spend more time writing. But weirdly I then found it even harder to write! It was like the more time I had, the more I seemed to procrastinate. Duh! I wouldn't want a full time salaried job again, as I enjoy having more control over how I structure my time. I envy writers who can be single minded and motivated enough to be a full time writer."
Hmmm. I was made redundant last summer and became, by default, a full-time writer, which means I also teach writing and do voluntary freelance work for arts projects I am passionate about. So, 9 months later, how do I feel about the pressure of solely relying on self-employment? Scary. Pressured. I find myself looking for part time salaried work once more (after a panic during financial projections for the next few months). Between blocks of frenetic writing activity, I lapse into periods of writing inactivity, which makes me feel guilty and useless. I set myself targets for my next two novellas that I haven't even started yet.
Struggling to see the wood from the trees right now....