Thursday, October 18, 2012

JUGGLING A FULL-TIME JOB AND A WRITING CAREER? ARE YOU NUTS?


      Recently a woman writer moved back to Montana after many years of taking jobs in other states… she and her hubby are finally back home.  I can’t tell you how excited I am – because I know so few writers here . . . and none that I ‘regularly’ connect with.  This writer is fun, personable, successful, and at a place in her writing that I feel is similar to me.  Oh… FABULOUS  . . . I’m not alone anymore!
     Then she admitted – she is retired . . . and finally can concentrate on her writing full-time!!  OMG – I’m so jealous.  A happy for her kind of jealous! Oh, to be so blessed. I dream of doing that… being in a place where I have only the responsibility of my writing career to be concerned with! 
     Okay, so juggling a full-time job and having a successful writing career isn’t the easiest thing to do . . . many of us know that.   We all know many writers who manage it – I do!  Let’s face it – until you’re making major $$  . . . can you take the chance of quitting your job that pays the bills and health insurance?  I can’t . . . right now . . . but a girl can dream!
     So how do we juggle the job and writing?  After all, our writing is a second job…right?  It is for me!  There is only one way I’m able to keep on top of everything . . . I treat my writing as a job and I set goals.  I plan it out and put the breakdown in day planner.  I don’t make it so demanding that I’m stressed-out . . . but I’m not easy on myself either.  Anything worth accomplishing is worth working for.
     I’m just starting book 2 of my Tango of Death series, Partisan Heart. I know the word count I’m aiming for, so I then figure the chapters (14 chapters and 15-20 pages each in this case).  How long will it take me to write a chapter?  (a chapter a week) 14 chapters – so 14 weeks and I add another week for research – give or take.  So I’m looking at a writing schedule of four months to finish this book.  Nothing says I can’t finish it early – but this is my goal, my working plan.  I give myself a schedule of three+ hours of writing a week night and a total of eight hours for Saturday-Sunday. 
    Yep – I didn’t say it was going to be easy . . . especially since I know the holiday season is on the way.  But that’s no excuse – since there is always something on the way – we just finished summer! I do find that I get more writing done from January to April – not as much happening…. But don’t forget … I don’t miss a Packer Game.  That’s a standing date with my hubby!  So you see, there is no really GOOD time to write . . . we have to schedule our writing – just like we are scheduled to work our job from eight to five!
     I do know one thing – when I’m able to write full-time (eight to five) that’s exactly what my schedule will be. It will be my ‘one’ job and I’ll treat it with that respect. I’ll continue to make goals and deadlines.
     I have no doubt, whether I am able to retire from my day-job and write full-time or not – I will achieve my goal of twenty-five+ books written and published by the age of sixty-five!  Only 13 more books to write in the next five years!  NO PROBLEM!  J

4 comments:

Joan Hall Hovey said...

25+ books is a major accomplishment, Ginger. I so admire your gusto and discipline. Wishing you all good things in the future. YOu deserve your success!

Rita Karnopp said...

Thank you, Joan - actually it was me who posted this one. :) giggle

Katherine S. Crawford said...

All those books--that IS a major accomplishment! And I'm awed by your organized writing schedule. I work part-time, have a 3 year-old, and am in graduate school. And I'm very much struggling with trying to balance all those things (plus being a wife--though my good husband tends to fend for himself) and write my next novel. I'll pay top dollar for the magic formula!

Congratulations to you, and all the good writing things coming your way!

Rita Karnopp said...

Thank you, Katherine! Bravo for you ... starting your writing career with little ones. I did that, too . . . so it can be done. It's like you said, a juggling act ... and there is no magic formula other than setting goals and doing your best to accomplish them. Thank you for sharing. :) Rita

Manic Readers

Manic Readers

She Writes

Historical Fiction Books

Readers and Writers of Distinctive Fiction