Being a full time writer may sound romantic to some people. They may even feel an unreasonable amount of envy about this career choice. The truth is, being a full time writer – or for that matter, being a writer at all – is like a 24/7 job. If you aren’t writing, you are plotting/planning the next story. If you aren’t plotting or writing, you are going through ideas in your head while everyone else around you is relaxing after a day at the office. And when you’re on a vacation, you may be physically away from your laptop and manuscript, but your mind can’t escape for too long. Yes, that is how we live our lives.
If you still feel jealous about our career path, how about letting me burst some myths about the professional writer? Here goes:
- No. Shut up and hear me loud and clear; writing is not a profession for those with rich husbands or wealthy parents. Some writers may be in that uber comfortable situation, but I can assure you that most of us are working lots of hours beyond our book writing time. Businesses and people need writers. Oh, and we have to spend a considerable amount of time pitching our services until we get a steady clientele. Most of my friends with regular jobs crib about their jobs but don’t leave because they fear the part about networking like crazy to find work.
- No. We do not spend all our time in isolation. I am an introvert who can spend days to myself (and with my cats, of course) without hanging out with friends BUT most of us try to maintain a healthy balance between writing alone and socialising with humans. If we didn’t go out, where would we get such great story ideas from? People watching and eavesdropping help a lot!
- No. We don’t write for free. Our freelance clients pay us based on the work we do for them. If we opt for traditional publishing, the publisher pays us an advance and then further royalties if your book sells. And I’ve been asked many times if my latest self-published books are just to satisfy my ego – hell no! Self-published books earn royalty too.
- No. We cannot pick up calls or meet you at any hour of the day just because we don’t work at someone else’s office. Writing takes serious focus and time and that time is precious. You can go pout in front of your selfie camera if that bothers you.