Writing as a job

I’ve always written, but writing has, for me, also always been a sideline. I was mainly an editor for many years, then mainly a book producer, then mainly a student, then mainly a semi-employed househusband.

But now writing has become my job. It’s not like anything has substantively changed in my life. I still get up every morning, try to spend an hour or so on my most challenging project, then get the family off to school and work, then putz around with less challenging stuff until the kids get home from school. It’s just that now writing is starting to seem like a “job,” with its multiple demands, its requests from different people with different interests, all of whom must somehow be placated. I think I’ve hit some critical point in my work when enough people have started to take notice of what I write that I must devote my whole day, in some way or another, to writing.

It’s been going on like this for a month or so, now, ever since I started Cognitive Daily. I’ve hit the point where it’s a struggle to keep up with my goals for each day, for each week, and the struggle isn’t one of inspiration, or of deciding what to do next, but simply how to get all the work done in the available time. I have to say, I like it that way.

I’ve got enough different things going on that I don’t have to slog away at the same project all the time, find inspiration from thin air, keep on going with only hope to guide me. Now I’ve got people breathing down my neck, egging me on, anticipating what I’ll do next. For me, this is inspiration I can work with. For me, it’s actually rather liberating. I think too many writers don’t have it: a reason to write — or better yet, several reasons.

All of this is somethign I rather slid into, not an arrangement I could have come up with in advance. My plan, actually, had been to write part time and teach part time. But every time I tried teaching, I absolutely hated it. Editing, on the other hand, tends to suck every atom of inspiration from your body, so I can’t do that, at least not in heavy doses. I never thought I’d be able to write full time, but for the moment at least, I’m doing exactly that — literally spending every minute of my workday writing or preparing to write.

Now I just need to figure out how to make it pay….

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