But I don’t want to learn the business of writing and you can’t make me!
Writing Excuses, a podcast hosted by Brandon Sanderson and 3 other writers, is a fantastic podcast for anyone who writes or wishes to do so. They are short (15 mins is the aim) and they cover everything from pacing to the writing life. It has been produced since 2008, so if you are new to it there is a lot of ground to cover (and completely worth it). I really love this one from early in their first season on going pro: The Business Of Writing. In particular they talk about the changes in their personal lives and within their families. This is something I think we often skip over when we talk about the business of getting down to write. It is not just about writing prompts or even stressing to ourselves the “butt in chair” philosophy. We need to stress to our loved ones that we are writing rather than goofing off and that we need to place strong boundaries down to protect that time. Not just from ourselves, but our loved ones as well. And it is reassuring to see that even the pros struggle(d) with just that. (And how they separate themselves into a business persona and an artist one).
They also talk about the hit to the standard of living that most of us take when we turn to writing full time. Then they stress how the quality of life went up. And I just love that. I think this is something I tried to stress in my writing workbooks. I do not advocate quitting your job unless you have the financial cushion to do so. I do feel that we can do it sooner if we are willing to give up some of our “stuff”. Less stuff, more writing and more happiness. Win win win! 🙂
And Brandon’s overnight success took 8 years. Remember that as you write. Writing is fun but it is also work. Except you have no idea if and when the work is going to pay actual dollars. So you really want to have explored all options and to be emotionally and financially prepared for the various scenarios. Especially if you want to live from it. (This is something I am presently working through. More importantly, I am trying not to make like the above turtle, who insisted on hanging out in the middle of the road somewhere in Turkey, and whom even after we rescued it from the middle of said road, turned around to head back onto it.) Writing does not have to be for profit, but if it is to be so, you can not hide behind the artist label.
So enjoy the podcast (I’d embed it but either they do not allow it or I just can not figure out how. So instead of wasting time attempting it follow the above link or click here and enjoy it.)