Today, we’re going to talk about my fantasies. Not those fantasies. If you want to read about those fantasies, check out my books. To learn about my other fantasy, read on.
The fantasy I want to talk about today is the Grand Poobah of all author fantasies:
Writing as your one and only career.
That’s right. I said it. The fantasy where you walk into the boss’s office and slide that utterly perfectly written resignation letter (that you wrote five years ago and have edited eight-seven times since) across that lacquered wood desk and stand there with a goofy, bemused grin on your face while she/he reads it and tries to wrap their corporate mind around the idea of quitting the real world to… what are you planning to do again?
Write. Full time.
By full-time, I mean, yes, you will still get up early in the morning (some of us on purpose because we write better before noon anyway) so that you can kiss the hubs (or wifey) goodbye, get the kids on the bus and let the dog outside so that he doesn’t piddle on the rug. But once all those annoyances are gone, you are free too… Dive into your fantasy world. For the rest of the day (allowing, of course, six minutes to stand in front of the open refrigerator and eat whatever does not require actual effort in order to shove into your mouth), you can write, write, write. And then, after you’ve tucked those self-same kids into bed, you get to write some more. You’ll also get to do it on the weekends, holidays, and during vacation. Let’s not kid ourselves; writing full time is more full time than any other job, with the possible exception of parenting.
And yet, so many of us dream about it, wish we had it, desperately work to achieve it. What would it be like to be able to claim writing as my one and only career? Like the blog title implies, let’s indulge in a little fantasy here.
In my fantasy world, after I’ve sent the kiddies off to school, I would refill the insulated coffee mug, grab the laptop and head to my home office, which, as often as possible, would be on my back porch, under a gloriously sunny sky.
Wait, if this is a fantasy, then my entire house would be uprooted and moved to a reasonably roomy lot on a glorious crystal clear, clean, sandy-bottom lake. And my home office would be at the end of the dock, enjoying that warm, gorgeous sunlight, at least until it becomes too warm, at which point it would shift to the deck, which is conveniently shaded by two ancient oak trees.
Oh yeah, and since we’re fantasizing, drinking wine before noon is not only acceptable, it’s encouraged. But only on writing days. On editing days, we save the wine till the end. Then we celebrate. Make sure the wine cellar is well stocked. We get really excited over pressing “send” to forward that next round to our editor.
Writing as a full time gig. What a fantasy. No more nearly ten hour a week commutes. Forty to fifty additional hours back in our pocket (not even counting the commute!). Whatever will we do with the time?
I would write more, but I guess this is a given. I mean, seriously. Let’s take a look at the stats. Bear with me, you right-brained souls. I feel ya, I really do. But we have to go here…. My current commute to the day job is forty-five minutes, each way, five days a week, at minimum. That’s assuming no accidents, no inclement weather (which is really a joke, considering I live in Michigan) and my not running late (which is also a joke), thus running into the “height” of rush hour traffic.
Now, let’s add the 50 hours a week the day job requires me to actually be in the office to that 7.5 already wasted on just getting to and from the place. I say fifty hours because most work environments include an unpaid one-hour lunch, which equals fifty, even to us basic, liberal arts mentality folk. We’re already at almost sixty hours a week. For me personally, it’s easy to justify rounding up to sixty because I work one of those type jobs (I believe the term is “non-exempt employee”), and I have that kind of work ethic. So we’ll say sixty hours, for the sake of easy math.
Holy crap, sixty hours a week? Damn. My fantasy just shot into double-overtime. It’s going nuts over here. Sixty extra hours a week….
I would certainly exercise more frequently. I admit, this is the first thing that goes when I have a deadline or cannot stop writing whatever is in my head at that moment. Of course, in my fantasy, I am perpetually twenty-five and don’t even have to think about exercise, but in reality, well, I need to get in those couple mile walks every day. Every day. It counter-acts the wine. We won’t get into the reasons behind the wine. Trust me, they don’t have to do with writing (usually).
Okay, so besides all the extra writing and a little bit more exercising (we’re being real here, even in the fantasy), what else would I do with all that time?
What, like go back to college? No. As cool as that would be… No. That’s for the pages of the books. Pretending to be twenty-five in my fantasy is one thing; actually trying to live the life of a twenty-five-year-old is not quite the stuff my fantasies are made of.
I would take more classes. Tutorials and webinars. Attend a couple chapter conferences. Attend THE romance writers’ conference of them all… the annual RWA convention. Maybe a few others in between.
Why, you ask? (Okay, that question is for the non-authors who are reading this post.)
Writers are like doctors. Yeah, I know, not really. Well, except for one small aspect. We still need to learn. Our practice changes every day. Every single day. And the only way we can keep up, keep writing, keep up with the trends, and keep selling books, is to keep up with the changes. To learn. To take classes, to attend conferences.
Please don’t wake me from this fantasy. I’m busy learning about the next book I intend to write that’s just going to blow my readers’ minds.
Now that you know mine, what’s your writing fantasy? Go ahead, tell me!
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