I’ve been working full time as a writer for four months now. I’m excited that after four months, I’m making more money than I made at my waitressing job — based on projected income for the month of November. And yes, tips included. I should end this year strong.
One of the biggest challenges for me is still finding balance.
When quit my job, my first priority was finding freelance clients because, eating and heating, right? I had a few sources of income right away — previous long-term clients and some residual income and a social media client.
I needed to find several more sources of regular income, though. And I did.
But even getting into the routine of managing my time and writing on the daily was hard still. I got a ghostwriting job writing novels. Without every having written an actual novel. I had written short stories and novellas but never anything more than 25,000 words.
My habits were lacking. I’d get up early about 40% of the time, but the other 60% I was still in bed at 10 am. And the more of the day that passed, the less I got done.
I’ve learned that I do best when I get up by 8 am and am working by 9 am.
The other thing that caused problems was that I was getting too easily distracted by being at home. The animals, the fridge, and yes, the TV. And the internet. I don’t do well if I have access to the internet when I am supposed to be working.
A week and a half ago, I made a concerted effort to find a work space outside the home. I worked out a shared office space and the time that it is primarily available to me is in the morning. Perfect. So, now the biggest thing for me is dragging my ass out of bed and heading to “the office” in town.
If I go to the office, no internet (phone is available for tethering if I absolutely have to have access to the internet but mostly I keep it turned off), I can write 5,000 to 6,000 words in a four-hour period.
I don’t feel like I am quite where I need to be for productivity in order to get everything I need to do done…but I’m close.
Now, of course, the main reason I quit my job was so I could pursue my dream of writing my own books on a full-time basis. Seeing my name in book stores all over the world? Yes, please. Hell, seeing my name at the top of the charts on Amazon would be enough for me. Actually, I don’t even care if my name is not that visible as long as I can eventually make enough money to live a good life purely from my own writing.
That’s not going to happen if I don’t make time for myself and my own writing though.
I need to find a way to write my own novel, on top of the client work that I’ve taken on. And I’ve taken on a lot because I’ve spent a lot of savings and I need to rebuild that. And I need to start putting money away for taxes.
My plan is to give myself half an hour a day to write my own novel. It’s small. But I just need to do something that moves me forward each day. I thought I could get it done before Christmas but…I have two novels and a series/novel (undecided which it will be at this point) in the pipeline at the moment. And I have three social media clients and 6 articles to write each month.
I’m working on planning it all out. I still struggle with efficiently sticking to a schedule though.
If you’re going to work for yourself full-time (no matter what kind of work you do), I highly suggest finding some balance before you make the leap. Unless you’re like me and you just need to struggle and find your way as you go. Then do that. But it’s not fun.
Originally published at http://dani.space.