To work or not to work?

The trouble with being an emerging writer is that I read too many blogs from established writers and then get confused about their contradictory advice.

To self-publish or not? To e-publish or not? To write about what you know or write what you want?

My latest confusion is whether I should continue to accept contract work or just throw myself  into getting this novel finished. I recently extended my writing contract with for a couple more weeks just because it was offered.

Even though I was writing more than ever for this contract, I realised that my own personal writing projects were suffering. I was barely spinning out 1000 words a week. I just couldn’t write all day for business and then come home and write some more on my own stories. My brain just shut down.

I’ve heard many established writers advise that the best way to get started as a writer is to find a rewarding part-time/ full time job that isn’t too mentally or physically draining to allow themselves to focus on their writing in the evenings. This can go on for five to ten years before a writer (if they are lucky) can support themselves full time in their profession.

Other writers I know work furiously to save up money in a  job that’s completely unrelated to writing and then take a year of two years off to focus completely on their writing.

I think every emerging writer needs to work out their own approach based on their lifestyle and situation. For a lot of emerging writers, I think the problem lies in validating your decisions – especially when your family and friends may all have flourishing careers and may not understand your choice. It’s all very well once you’ve had a few publications under your belt but to make the initial choice to take a year off work to write or to accept an uninspiring job so you can make more time to write without any guarantees of publication or monetary gain at the end – well that’s enough to keep me up at night even without the copious amount so green tea ice-cream I’ve been consuming of late.











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