The Writing Life: Lots of Irons in the Fire


Let’s face it. Most of us work full-time jobs while trying to keep up a writing life. Carving out time to write is not the only challenge. The energy highs and lows of a workweek have a big impact on writing output. I currently have four book manuscripts to which I am devoting time. (My ADH-rattled brain can’t focus on a full-book at a time, so I write different ones in chunks.)

Needless to say, my ideas get scribbled down everywhere….in notebooks and on my iPhone. This is the only way for me to keep up a writing life. If I waited for even a half-hour of quality time to work on my computer, nothing would get done. Sure, it take lots of time to synthesize my various writings, but I just consider that my second and third drafts when I brutally tear my work apart and discard and add….the joy of watching those pages add up and knowing that you have sweated over every word is like being immersed in ice after running a marathon.

Really, the difference between a wannabe writer and a serious writer is how devoted you are to getting something down on paper and seeing a book idea through to its conclusion. Whatever it takes to lead a writer’s life is what it takes. Not all of us are like Sarah Dessen and have five hours every afternoon to write and write only. I think that she has worked hard to get where she is, but that’s my point, it takes grit and determination to lay the foundation for a writer’s life.

My biggest inspiration are writers who have actually held jobs while writing, such as Stephen King, who worked at an industrial laundry and taught high school English while writing his first novels and short stories.

When you have a full-time job, the writing life takes guts and lots of five minute jottings.


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