3 Things I Wish I Knew Before Committing to the Writer’s Life

I love being a writer. I love being a full-time writer, and I’m looking forward even more to being a full-time writer who is also a stay-at-home mum.

That’s still a weird concept for me, by the way. Me, being a mum.

Probably will have to get used to that at some point.

Existential crisis aside, I love being a writer. But there are things about this life that I wish I had known before I started.

Three things, in particular.

1) Writing Is… Different

I started out in my writing career because I loved it. I loved stories and I loved words, and I wanted to make my living with them.

But writing as a career is . . . different. I still write to enjoy myself. I still enjoy what I write. But the time I spend writing for pleasure is significantly decreased, and I’m more often motivated by impending deadlines and a paycheck that I need than I am by an urgent desire to write. I still love writing, and I’m certain that I always will, but it is a job, not a hobby, and a job means writing when you don’t necessarily feel like it.

2) Stability Who?

I am the sort of person who thrives on stability. I like a paycheck that comes in promptly every other Friday at the same time with no exceptions.

Writing is . . . not that way. Freelancing is not that way. The paychecks come in when I finish a project, and if I don’t have the energy to be creative, I don’t get paid. Money comes in, but it’s not regular or very predictable, and I have to trust that God is my provider and that the checks will continue to come in, even when I can’t see it.

3) Writing Isn’t The Whole Story

Yes, I’m a writer.

I’m also a business owner, an accountant, a publicist, a social media manager, a director, a public speaker, and my own personal life coach, because apparently someone has to keep me motivated and moving forward in my career.

Basically, every part of my career is my responsibility. Taxes, publicity, social media. All the hats are mine, and I have to be far more savvy in things that I never would have dreamed of when I was still writing the first drafts of my books ten years ago, dreaming of getting to where I am now.

To be honest, I didn’t know almost anything when I first started writing. I didn’t know how long it would take to start earning money, I didn’t know how much I still had to learn, I didn’t know how much of my job would consist of me constantly being out of my comfort zone and forcing myself to do things that were difficult and felt too big for me.

If I had known, would I still have chosen to pursue it? It’s definitely different than I expected it to be . . . definitely harder, and definitely less glamorous. Would I choose it again?

I’d like to think so. Personally.

I’d hope so, anyway. I’d hope I’d have the courage. I’ve faced a lot of challenges in the last ten years, and a lot of moments that felt like more like an end than a beginning.

But I hope I’d have the courage to face them again.

Really, though. Maybe that’s the reason we can’t see everything that’s coming, and everything that will be required of us.

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