Friday, February 5, 2010

Fave Authour Roundup: Five Years At My Laptop

Not nearly as exciting a title as Seven Years In Tibet, eh?

I've been thinking of adding a favorite author roundup as an occasional feature, profiling writers I adore that influence my writing and their thoughts on writing.  This is somewhat random (random postings from me, I'm sure you are terribly surprised) but while reading on Dean Koontz's website, I was really struck by this bit in his biography:

The following year was filled with challenge but also tension, and Koontz was more highly motivated than ever to build a career as a writer. He wrote nights and weekends, which he continued to do after leaving the poverty program and going to work as an English teacher in a suburban school district outside Harrisburg. After a year and a half in that position, his wife, Gerda, made him an offer he couldn't refuse: "I'll support you for five years," she said, "and if you can't make it as a writer in that time, you'll never make it." By the end of those five years, Gerda had quit her job to run the business end of her husband's writing career.


Mm, say what? Koontz took five motivated years and developed a successful career as a writer. This struck me because, as you may remember if you've been following my blog, my goal is to make it in five years. Despite struggling with a day job simultaneously, this really reminded me of what can be accomplished -- especially given the coincidence of our similar time frames.

Of course, MJ also offers sometimes to let me "retire" before 30 and take a few years off to just try and make it as a writer.  It's hard for me to imagine giving up my career and jumping into writing before I've made it... but in a few years, it might be an option (right now, I'm under obligations to work). Wouldn't that be crazy? I've been thinking about how it could work -- I could do the Marines as a reservist (the one weekend a month/two weeks a year bit). I was just offered a part-time position tutoring for the finance classes at the university where I'm working on my Master's. I could still bring in a little money without major time investments.

But that's a debate for another day! Right now, this option seems too far away to even consider. So I'll keep getting up at 6am to write before work, and trying to make it -- with a day job.  Honestly, I think it would be hard to leave the security of my day job, too. There's a lot to consider.

Are you a full-time writer or a dayjobber?  Have you ever thought about how you could make it work to go full-time? Would you even want to?

6 comments:

Kristin Rae said...

Be sure to stop by my blog today!!! HINT HINT!!

Jen said...

Be sure to stop by my blog today!!! You're a winner!!! If you would put your email on my post and I'll give you the amazon.com gift card!!!

As far as being a daytime writer I am not, I have a full time job and though it is nice it is not what I want my career to be. If I could make it full time as a writer I would, I would love the chance, however at this point in time it just isn't feesible!

Guinevere said...

Wow! I never win anything, so I can't believe I won in both of your contests! *Squeee* I can't wait to hit up Amazon! :)

Dangerous With a Pen said...

I won Kristin's contest today, too! And also cool, it led me to your blog. :) Congrats on your wins x 2!

I work full time as well, teaching first grade, which does include summers off but also includes a good amount of work on nights and weekends, and then there are my two kids...

I think I would have a hard time financially if I quit my job, and I am so Type A that I really don't think I could leave behind a decent pension and good benefits. I'd worry too much that that kind of change wouldn't just affect me, but also my family.

I would love to give it a run, even for a year, but my school district doesn't give sabbaticals. ;) There is already an ALA award-winning teacher in my school district and he doesn't take time off. But his kids are also in middle and high school so they may not need as much constant attention.

Besides, if I left my day job for writing... I wouldn't have the "I have no time" excuse... that would be the real challenge to me and my writing! (Although I have set a goal for myself this year... a chapter a month. Seems doable... I'll let you know, lol)

Nicole Ducleroir said...

I definitely consider myself a full-time writer. I'm so blessed to be a stay-at-home mom with a hubby that supports my artistic tendancies as well as our household budget. I writer every day. Of course...being paid for what I love to do would be fantastic!

Congrats on winning Kristin Rae's contest!

ASHLEY LADD said...

I'm a full time day jobber but I also write a lot. I have several books published and more coming out, but alas, I still can't afford to quit my day job. That is the dream, however. One day...