For the longest time, it has been my dream to be a full time writer. To, one day, ditch the day job and retreat to a little shack in the woods and write. Become a full time novelist. Publish book after book and focus only on the writing. As I’m getting older, though, I realise that dream will not materialise. Ever. And I’m oddly okay with that.
Don’t get me wrong: I will always be a writer. I will always write short stories and novels, maintain my blog and write articles. But I will no longer endeavour to make it my job. It will remain a hobby for me.
There are various reasons for this, but the main one is that it’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation. I’ve come to the point in my writing career that I won’t be able to make much more money than I do now unless I spend significantly more time on getting my name out there, write pitches and market the hell out of myself. Unfortunately, due to the fact I have a full time job, various volunteer positions and a family, I don’t have that extra time. So I have to face reality: this is as far as I’m going to get with my writing career.
I wrote before about turning your hobby into a job and how difficult that it. Sure, there are people out there who make it work. But not everyone has the luxury to do so. If I wasn’t the breadwinner of the family, I could probably consider working part time and writing part time. As it stands, giving up even a day of work would require considerable sacrifices of my family. I can’t in good conscience ask them to give up their lifestyle just because I want to chase my dream.
A lot of motivational articles out there – especially around New Year’s – urge you to work hard at making your dream a reality. They almost make you feel like a failure when you can’t do it. Or when you don’t want to make the sacrifices necessary to do so. For the last few years, I have tried to work hard to turn myself into a profitable writer. To earn enough money to make my writing time worthwhile. I felt like I needed to prove (to whom?) that I am a serious writer, and somehow the amount of money I’d make off writing would be that proof.
I realise now that is all nonsense. I am a good writer. I don’t need a bestseller to tell me that. I know that. I love writing for my blog, I love writing my short stories and I love writing my novels. What I don’t love is hustling to pitch articles, or to find a publisher or an agent. Some people might say I’m just not serious enough about my writing, but I disagree. I am serious about my writing, I just don’t have the time and energy to beg others to validate my writing.
And so I will self-publish my novels. I will write short stories for those publications which are easy to approach. I will continue to post stories on my blog and I will keep working at my day job to provide for my family.
I am okay with never being a full time writer. Without the pressure of trying to turn my hobby into a day job, I can enjoy writing again. I’ve been quite successful with my writing in 2019, but I’ve also felt a lot of pressure. Pressure to find a publisher for my novel, to make more money, to get my work seen by more people. I don’t want that pressure. I want to do my day job – which I enjoy (or at least I enjoy the field I’m in and hope to enjoy my new job) – and write for the fun of it. Sure, I hope to recoup my expenses whenever I publish a novel, but I no longer aim to become rich off it. Capitalism can stuff it. As long as I find joy in writing I consider myself a successful writer.
It’s the roaring twenties.
Desperate to escape the stifling confines of her life with her aunt and uncle in New York, Jane Travers arrives at her friend Rachel’s country home determined to enjoy a summer full of fun and excitement. Rachel has promised her risqué parties, but what awaits Jane is beyond her wildest dreams. Guided by her old flame, Sidney Fitzroy, and the sensual singer Lillian Smith, Jane enthusiastically embarks on a journey of sexual self-discovery.
With Sidney and Lillian both satisfying her deepest desires, Jane sheds her restrictive upbringing and embraces her newfound freedom. As her feelings for both Lillian and Sidney intensify, Jane faces an impossible choice: a stable future with Sidney or a lifetime of excitement with Lillian.
But how can she choose when her heart belongs to both of them?