Thursday, November 30, 2017

Advice to those who would like to be full-time writers

One final word this NaNoWriMo month to newer writers.

If I could give you one piece of advice only, I'd skip over the craft advice and the excellent advice about writing every day and the advice about persevering in the face of rejection and say only one thing:

Get rid of your TV.

donating it would be better than doing this, I suppose

What? Why? Because it wastes time?

Not primarily that (though you are right!--it does waste time.) It will try and sell you crap you don't need, and that will cost you money you should be saving. And why should you be careful with your money? Money is freedom. Freedom is time to write. Time to write is the sine qua non of first getting good enough at your craft to have a shot at being a full-time writer, and then, once you start selling, of producing more stories or books to sell.

Time is like gold--more than gold. It's like air to a writer.

Every single shiny object which is advertised to you, that you fall prey to the lure of, that you buy? That's a piece of a book you tossed away. Convincing yourself you need a Mac and iPhone? Sorry to be blunt, but that's at least a full book you just wasted--because you had to earn a living at some straight job to buy that, even if you don't lose more time to playing around with their time-wasting apps.

Maybe you came from money. Hey, congrats, then buy all the Apple products and Lamborghinis your heart desires.

But if you're working class or close to it and if you want to be a writer--really and truly want it; it's the most important goal you have, and you're not just playing at this--that's my advice. Get rid of your TV.

Live simply. Quit acquiring things you don't need. Quit believing the lie that you need to acquire more things than would fit in a panel van. Things take up your time and then they take more time at a day job to pay them off and if they are expensive things, now you have to work more to insure them.

Use your time like the precious, finite resource it is.  Every object you buy is flushing that time down the toilet. It's therefore flushing the books you'll never have time to write down the toilet. I promise you that as arrive at my age, you'll wish you had more precious time ahead of you to finish writing all those book ideas in your file. Guard your time sooner--rather than regretting the spending of it later.

And then, for a bonus, when you do quit your day job and go full-time as a writer, you'll have learned the lessons of frugal, simple living, and when there is a lean year (and there will be lean years. If you're so new you're still thinking everyone who writes ends up King or Rowling, and swims through money right into the grave, you're probably not in the audience for this post), you'll know how to cut back when the income drops and be able to stay full-time as a writer.

If you say that writing is important to you, act as if it is. Make it important. Prioritize it. Don't throw away your time on shiny objects. You're not a magpie. You're a warrior of words. Remember your goal of being a full-time writer one day. Stay strong and focused.

Remember: you don't need more things. You need more time.

1 comment:

  1. Hello! Unrelated to this post, but I wonder if you've seen this group's work? Every time they make a new post, I think of you! They've even made a Hell Pig:

    I've really loved the Dawn of Mammals series. I do hope you find time to write more stories about the group!


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