When Real Life Interrupts Your Writing Life

The author in his habitat
The author in his habitat

So on several fronts, it’s been a very interesting year.

I sold my house and moved to Chesapeake, Virginia because I like Virginia and I enjoy the shore (although I get incredibly seasick on a boat). I love being able to bike along the beach. It’s very relaxing. There are wonderful state parks to hike around in.

I found an apartment and made a few nice new friends who’ve introduced me to their antics and their social world. So I’m not totally alone out there. I even belong to a kickball league and I’m playing right after I write this post.

Things have changed in my life on the relationship front. Essentially I’m single and I haven’t dragged myself out to find anyone new. The dating sites I’m on are not the most interesting way to meet people. In short, it’s disappointing. There’s nothing like typing messages to invisible people and not getting back any sort of response. It’s sort of a “meh” result. Since I’m not a rock star, movie star, sports star, political star … the world really could care less.  It’s not, as I like to say, “crucial critical”.

But most importantly, I’ve been able to commit myself to writing and really focus on it. I’ve been productive. I can write 2000 or more words a day and feel really good about them because I wasn’t interrupted. Not having to drag myself into an office and face other people’s annoying problems (The website is down! The code won’t work! We need you to come into the office!) has been liberating. I’ve put a screenplay into a major competition and now its on a major website for review and reading. I finished the first draft of a new novel. I’m writing a TV pilot. And I’m waiting for the edits for my first book which will be published by Divertir.

This however, is not a perfect world. I can’t live on what savings I have for much longer. The books I have on Amazon and other sites netted me $22.00 this year. So now I’m facing the dilemma  which I call “The Party Is Over” syndrome.

I know that the edits which I will receive for my first book to be published by Divertir will be extensive. I’ve already spoken to my editor and she’s relayed some important things that must be addressed. This means that Darkest Hour will not be going into print anytime soon. It has to be done. It has to be made as good as I can make it. So I’m not blubbering over the changes, I just am blubbering over the fact that I am out of time and I have to make certain life decisions. I would love to keep writing, but now I have to find work.

I have several options. The first is freelancing from home, either as a writer or as a web developer. I could put myself out as a Kickstarter project and promise folks things like signed copies of the book or illustrations or what not. I could put myself out to a temp agency and work locally for awhile. I could sit down and find another real job (because writing, you see, isn’t). Lastly I could dig into my savings and keep funding myself.

This is that part of the writer’s life that many folks don’t realize. Many aspiring authors do not have the income to be full time writers. I’ve been like this for 25 years, and it still hasn’t changed. I’ve been able to take off a few months, but the timing between publishing and waiting for something to happen is just too narrow. It takes time to publish a book. It might do nothing. It might do something. And waiting for that is way longer than I have the money for.

So this is the part where Real Life Must Interrupt the Writing Life. Not to say that it hasn’t been enticing and fun. It has been. It’s great to be a writer. It’s what I do. I just wish I could do that for a lot longer.




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