–Sondi Warner, Writer/Blogger for Wrought Iron Reads
My partner pulled me aside a few days ago to talk about the reality of life with a writer. It made me realize it’s high time we demolish the notion writers lead comfortable lives, pattering around the house in their PJs while sipping sedately from coffee mugs and typing a few lines of a story.
She said, “Sondi, every day I wake up in a good mood until you wake up.” This wasn’t to say I’m a ball of gloom in the morning, although I am. Mary was pointing out how depressing it is to date someone who wakes up and pulls a laptop close. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
As a full-time ghostwriter and indie author, I don’t have a regular work schedule. I have deadlines every other week, which means I’m always on the clock. When I’m not writing, I’m marketing and promoting, and when I’m not doing that, I’m researching and learning more about how to be a better writer. As I type this out, I think, “Oh, there’s so much more to it than that, though!” and also…
…because I really don’t have much time for idly sitting and thinking. I spend hours:
- Outlining, writing, editing.
- Creating graphics, content and promos.
- Communicating with clients and working to acquire new ghostwriting gigs.
- Monitoring the analytics to see what’s working and what’s not.
- Networking and communicating with other writers to build rapport and strengthen necessary relationships.
- Platform-building on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
- Radio interviews and blog interviews.
- Review requests.
And, more. Seriously, I don’t quit; I can’t. I depend on my income as a writer to help take care of my family, I wake up knowing that if I don’t meet my word count for the day, bills might not get paid. Kids might not eat. It’s tough. (Someone somewhere is playing the world’s tiniest violin for me. Thank you! That sound marvelous accompanying this whine.)
All jokes aside, this intense anxiety, of course, doesn’t make the writing any easier. I miss family functions and regular day-to-day interactions with my children to get the job done. I spend hours outlining, writing and looking for other freelance work in a market where the pay is often far less than deserved. As you might guess, this is depressing. But, I don’t have the luxury of letting fatigue set in.
Meanwhile, with a new book on the horizon, every second is a chance to promote. But, it’s also a chance to see what other writers are doing. Often, I’m guilty of thinking, “Why on earth is it so easy for such-and-such to get people enthused about their book?” Or, “As hard as I’m working, why is no one noticing?” I know that’s a bad way of thinking of things, considering most of my writerly friends are struggling the same as me, and we ALL know nobody is breezing through this indie writer business unscathed.
Often, I feel as if I’m dancing as fast as I can to music that speeds up even more, but I have to keep myself motivated, and my partner has to keep me motivated so we can accomplish our goals. So the next time someone tells you writers must have the good life, you tell them Sondi determined: That is a lie.
Happy writing, folks.
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