Sunday, 9 November 2008

What I was thinking

I don't know if it's the time of year that's coming up (the end of it that is) but I've started to think about things. I won't bore you with the bulk of it because it had nothing to do with writing and we're all worried about the price of electricity and gas so there's no point whinging about it. But here's what I thought about my writing.
I should point out that I have no idea what I am going to write now. I just know that I wanted to blog about this but haven't really thought about it. Regular visitors may know that once it's written on here I don't change it because in normal conversation you can't unsay (possibly not a word) something that you have said. So here goes.
I've been writing semi seriously for just under 2 years. By semi seriously I mean that I have a day job that takes up the bulk of my day, a family that take up another chunk and writing gets fitted in half an hour here and there. I don't have the success rate that some of the people writing the blogs that I read have. Maybe that's because they commit more time and effort to their writing or maybe they're just better than me. Either way I don't begrudge them their success.
In my two years of writing I've been published probably a dozen or so times. I haven't actually counted it but it will be somewhere around there and almost all of those hits came in the first year. 2008 hasn't been a tremendous success for me but maybe that's because my priorities changed at the end of 2007 when I realised that in the grand scheme of things being a successful writer wasn't the most important thing to me. But it must still be important to me or I wouldn't still be doing it. I could write for pleasure and tuck it away in a drawer if that was the only reason I did it. But I don't. I still submit things even if it is on a not too regular basis so I must still want the recognition that someone likes what I have created. And if that is the case, am I trying hard enough? The honest answer to that one is probably not but like I said before it's hard to give something all your attention when you know that at the end of the day it doesn't matter. Maybe if I depended on the money I earn from writing to pay the gas bill I would give it more time. But then, if I depended on it to pay the gas bill I would be writing as a job so I could give it more time.
So I asked myself a few questions.
Q. Why do I write?
A. Primarily for pleasure.

Q. What is the other reason.
A. I get a buzz out of getting an acceptance.

Q. In an ideal world, how would your writing world work?
A. I'd still have a job because I actually like my job (and the regular income that comes with it) but I would find more time to write. I would have more hits than misses and earn the odd bob or two for the retirement fund.

Well that's as far as my thinking got because my mum rang and I was chatting to her and then got on with other stuff.
But basically I have accepted that my opportunities may be limited but I can make the best of them - if I really want to - and I do.
Maybe I need to remember what a former boss of mine who turned out to be a great mate used to say.
"Work smarter not harder." It used to annoy the hell out of me when he said that but he was right.
I have only a small amount of time that I can give over to writing so I need to make sure that I make the most of the time that I do have. That will include studying the market more which is something I know I don't do enough of.
So in conclusion to this very random blog I would say something that I have seen written on dozens of my school reports. "Must try harder."


Annie Wicking said...

It sound to me as though you've had far more than I've had published, so you must be very good at writing the sort of stuff editor want to read.

As for time, maybe you'll have more time in the future and at the moment you need to work with the time you have.

Don't beat yourself up over it just enjoy the art of writing when you can.

Best wishes my dear friend,


Gonna be a writer said...

Thanks for that Annie but you see I think that part of my problem is that I don't really beat myself up about it. I didn't mean it to sound that way. I would like to make something of a successas a writer but the truth is that if it doesn't I'll still die happy. In the grand scheme of things success in public doesn't matter it's success in the private that matters.

KAREN said...

That's an interesting post. It's only now that I'm working less hours at the library that I'm making more of an effort to 'write for a living.' Like any writer, although I do it as a hobby I also like the validation of having something published but have been happy to amble along so far. I'm stepping up my game this year :o)

Anonymous said...

I have this fear in the back of my mind that if I became a successful author, then I might end up writing to a market, thereby losing much control over the style and content of my writing. To be honest though, that would be a nice problem to have!

I've always had difficulty deciding what to do about the things I'm good at (or think I'm good at); whether to keep them as hobbies, or to advance them into some kind of career. I'm often wary that the latter option will somehow spoil the fun.

And if the fun goes out of writing, then it'll be, well, not fun any more. So for me, and I suspect you as well, the financial and fame aspects are a bonus, rather than the driving force.

I wouldn't worry about the (apparent) lack of time you have for writing. Writing little and often is sometimes better than long immersive sessions. You get to write with your head a bit more.

Gonna be a writer said...

I was having a bad half hour at work earlier (after what I said about loving my job too). Well today I hated it, for probably as long as 40 minutes and I found myself thinking that I really need to make this writing hobby more of a success. For those 40 minutes I wanted to make my living from writing. But I got over it and now I just want the recognition and a bit of pin money to put towards the next holiday.
Like you captain I would hate for the fun to go out of writing and I wonder if that's what happens when it's your job.

womagwriter said...

I'm like you, Gonna Be. I love the buzz you get from knowing someone somewhere wants to pay me for my writing. But I certainly don't put enough effort into writing to ever be in a position where I could give up the day job, and I'm not sure I would want to. I like knowing I can not write if I don't feel like it. But then again, I'm always wishing I could work part time and have more time for writing!

Gonna be a writer said...

I would like to work part time so that I could write more too. Unfortunately I don't think I could afford to.