Writing doesn't need to be a full-time job (though we'd like it to be)

I saw a blog post the other day from a person who posed the question as to whether he or she should create an online donation campaign so that he or she could quit their job and become a full-time writer.

Reasons given for needing this financial support:

  • Mental difficulties of an undisclosed kind
  • Roommates
  • Having a full-time job that the person finds boring or otherwise tiresome

According to the post's writer, he or she "knows what it takes to write a book". Read this as: write every day on someone else's dime. I respectfully disagree.

While I understand the desire to dedicate one's life to the joy that is writing on a full-time basis, the collection of reasons above doesn't seem compelling enough to garner much support on GoFundMe or IndieGoGo or the like. I recently wrote about the myth of writing every day being a necessity for writers. Most of us simply don't have that luxury.

And, to the statement that this person "knows what it takes to write a book", I will tell you that I went through a similar situation as this person describes, and I still managed to write a novel. Here were my roadblocks while writing Into the Darkness:

  • Chronic bouts of depression since 13
  • Roommates (at least for a time)
  • Full-time student at Pitt
  • 40+ hour work week at a job I hated

How did I manage to write a book with all of that in my way? I wrote a little bit here and a little bit there until I had a completed manuscript. Granted, it took almost 7 years and many drafts until I reached a book I could call done, but I got it done, even with all those roadblocks in the way.

All it takes to be a writer is a burning desire to put a story or a collection of thoughts into words and put those words on a page. That's it. This can definitely be achieved part-time. It just takes perseverance, not living off of someone else's charity.

A.M.