Thursday, May 27, 2010

Writing as a Job

Today is my day off from the job that currently pays my bills. Starting tomorrow, I work six days in a row, anywhere from 7 to 9 1/2 hours a day. Last week, I worked six days, seven shifts, close to fifth hours. I'm tired as anything, and I still got up on my day off, before the crack of dawn, to write. I'll do some housekeeping issues, and be writing by 6:30. By nine, I'll have popped out at least ten pages. I may take a break for a little, but then I'll be back writing, and by the end of the day will have close to two chapters done.

I talked about inspiration, or stubborness, in my last blog, and this is what I mean by stubborness. I hate getting up early. I've been doing it for nearly six years, and it doesn't get easier, you don't learn to like it. The only thing I've learned is that while I don't need caffeine to function first thing, I do need at least 20 minutes of total alone time in order to not snap people's heads off. But I get up early anyway, because if I don't, the day will go by, and I will have no more pages.

I'm not one of those writers who treats writing as a job with a boss. I know that nobody is hovering over me, pressing me to write more pages. I know that I have no time clock. The only deadlines are the ones that I set for myself. And I definitely don't have a paycheck.

At this stage, writing is something like volunteer work. I'm not getting paid. But every little bit that I write is something that eventually will serve a larger purpose. It's not something being done for fame or glory or because it's required. It's something that's done because I want to, because I have an overwhelming desire and urge to do it. It fulfills me, in the same way that volunteer work fulfills a lot of people.

But eventually, I do want to move from a volunteer position to a paying one.

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