Hello and welcome to another episode in the monthly blog hop for Insecure Writers! Writers from across the land join forces to share our tales of woe! JOIN US!
Today marks a bit over one month that I jumped off the regular day job train and moved to full time writer. Ya want insecure? This chick has serious insecurities!
I do have a back list of books (book 16 comes out this month) and a wee pension. But this is scary stuff!
I knew from the start I needed a plan and a schedule that works for me. Right now that means working 5 days a week (I take Wed and Sat off). Starting at a mostly set time, but for this month I am keeping a timesheet to see how much time I am spending (last month was too all over the place ;)). I have set daily and weekly word counts, plus trying to working in advertising time, newsletters, blogs, etc. Still a major WIP ;).
I'm finding that some folks get it, others don't.
I've had friends who figure that since I retired from my day-job, I'm free to do whatever I or they want. I explain I am working--and they just shrug and again say I can do what I want.
In a way, they are right. I can.
But what I want is to build a stronger writing career. To do that, I need a routine. When I worked at the old day job, I'd get up at 4:30/5 am to write before work. After dinner, I'd write. Weekends--I'd write.
I had a schedule (it was a bit intense, but it worked ;)).
Now, I literally can do what I want. BUT to achieve my goals, I have to have a schedule, a routine to keep me going. I write in set word chunks. Right now, it's 4 chunks of 750 words each (goal at this point is 3,000 a day). When I hit my goal for that section--I stop.
Yes, I could keep going (and will go a bit over) but it's important for me to know that I hit my goal and now get a 10 min break. If I pushed past that goal, I'd run out of steam. Also, it really helps when the words are coming slowly, to look at my counter and remind myself I can stop in 345 words (or wherever I'm at ;)).
I know many writers say they must write everyday. For me having those two days off is wonderful. Now, I might take part of a day if something pops up and causes a pivot (lost time on Saturday because I was behind on edits). But knowing I have those days to recharge really helps.
I'm still building balance in my schedule-- keep to the daily word count, not cram all the words in a few days. And learning to accept that I will have to pivot. When I get stressed about this whole thing, I cling to the schedule like a life raft. I am learning that as long as it's moving me forward in terms of the over-all goal, pivots are okay.
I'm insecure, but I'm trying to get better :).
What makes you feel insecure?
Happy IWSG day!
I don't write every day – but there aren't many days when I'm not doing something writing related, even if it's just thinking.ReplyDelete
That's true! I'm afraid even on days off I don't get away from thinking about the stories. I also do business related work sometimes.Delete
Ahh, I started bullet journaling in 2018, Christmas eve, to be exact, and that's what I had been trying to do: a set, regular schedule. So, now that's how I look at my writing, 5 days on, 2 off, 8 hours broken down into 2hour sections titled: Idea Generation, Story Creation, Revision and Post Process. Those ideas came from Holly Lisle and so now, I am doing much better with my goals, life as well as writing.ReplyDelete
Take care, Stay safe.
That sounds great!! Mine is similar with the days :). Take care and stay safe too!Delete
This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
It sounds like you have this under control! I am dreaming of those days. Best of luck on your schedule and your goals. Thanks for sharing!ReplyDelete
Thanks! It's more like I'm pretending to have control in the hopes it will come true ;).Delete
Hey, those people with "normal jobs" can do whatever they want, too. They could skip days at work. Oh yeah, they'd get fired. But they could do it. Just like you could skip writing whenever, but it means not getting a book done and drops in sales. Consequences are everywhere. Or, to quote the movie Dangerous Minds, "That is a choice. There are no victims in this classroom."ReplyDelete
Thank you! Great reply! I'm stealing that idea btw-- next time one of them mentions it ;).Delete
People have trouble understanding that working for yourself means still needing to have a schedule. Good luck as you continue with it. Before I decided to go back to school, I was writing M, T, Th, F, cleaning the house Wednesdays and blogging, then taking the weekends off. I plan to return to that schedule once I'm done with school. It was allowing me to thrive!ReplyDelete
That's a great schedule! Good luck on school :).Delete
Scheduling does help a lot. Especially when things get tough - pushing to meet that daily word count goal is the best thing to do.ReplyDelete
So true! As long as my words (or editing pages when I'm doing that) are hit, I feel good for the day!Delete
So how much time are you scheduling for marketing and other little details necessary to sell books?ReplyDelete
Last year, I went from a full time job that I commuted to every day, to tutoring chemistry online. So now I have more time than ever to write, but it wasn't until I set myself some sort of schedule that I actually begun to write more than I did back when I was full-time employed. At least I finally finished my story.
Good luck with keeping on your schedule.
It's unofficial time. It gets added on, but I do need to be more consistent with it. Just started doing Amazon ads this year, but need to build more of them and take a look at which ones work better. There are soooo many moving parts to this! Congrats on finishing your story!Delete
I was pushed off the regular job train by disability. I'm still waiting for SSDI to get their heads out of their backsides and approve me. I know it can literally take years, and it's unconscionable to me.ReplyDelete
I do write every day, but I don't have an exacting word count. I write what I write. It probably averages 1000 words a day anyway. I have ADHD, and I'm always working on numerous projects.
I honestly didn't know who I was without my job, and it took me a long time to adjust. I started working when I was 16. Except for a brief period of time when my son was very little, I've never been without a job.
I don't know how to take breaks. I tend to feel guilty when I do. I was always a workaholic, and that behavior led to my becoming disabled. I wish that society didn't encourage workaholism. Looking back, there were glaring signs that I was completely overwhelmed, but I ignored them until it was too late because I was afraid to look at who I was outside of my work persona.