Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Writing Wellness


I packed it in and quit my day job! What was once a fantastic job providing support to clients turned into a nightmare. About a year ago, after I wrote my novel for the 3-Day Novel Challenge, I made my decision that I would transition into a full-time writer. I'd give my writing career a chance, or shut up and ship out. 

I meticulously did my monthly budget, cut back on expenses, cancelled all subscriptions, made extra cash when I could.

Unfortunately, life had other plans for me. About halfway through the year, my job turned upside down. The workload quadrupled and my job morphed into something unrecognizable. This was not the career that I had originally been hired to do, nor the one I had accepted when I signed the contract. 

Colleagues become stressed out and people went on sick leave. I had more of a support network at my disposal than they did but I wasn't coping much better.

After the one-hundredth day of coming home in tears, I decided enough was enough. It was time for me to leave and do what I wanted. If I never tried, I would never know. Life is short; my own mother barely lived two decades past the age I am now. Did I want to die being unhappy, or did I want to do what I loved?

If I need to get back to a regular-paying job, than I can take one that supports my first career. 

I haven't been off for a month yet, but have been getting into the writing groove. I have a schedule set up four days a week. I know I cannot work for eight hours solid a day, and I know I need breaks, so those are scheduled in. 

What I didn't realize was that for my four working days, that I wouldn't be writing continuously during my allotted times. 

I've spent a great deal of time searching out new markets to write for. I've had to document submission guidelines and make notes, so I can find a market I wish to submit to in the future. I need to tie together markets with my short stories. Today, I became confused when I had three drafts of different short stories in my folder, but no idea where I had intended to submit them to. I had to make up a submission form to keep track of everything. I have folders on my computer set up with different dates, and more folders coming. 

Editing also takes up the greatest amount of time. I've added edit numbers to all my submissions, so I know if they are draft two or draft seven. 

I remembered short stories I wrote years ago and perhaps could find homes for them. I had to dig to the back of my closet to find the disks as those stories were no longer on my computer. 

Some days it's great doing a little of this and a little of that, but tomorrow I'm gearing up to only write brand new stories. This may give me a sense of accomplishment.

I'm hoping that by the beginning of next week I'll have some of my stories submitted for publication.

I'm sure as the weeks pass by, I'll gain more insights into my writing day, and figure out exactly what works for me. 

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