Thursday, June 19, 2008

September

Recently I decided to go back to work after my holiday in September, regardless of whether I've finished the edit and rewrite of my novel. I want and need to earn money again. The Ours is very supportive and generous but - surprise surprise - the novelty of being a lady of leisure has worn off.

However I will never regret taking the time off work, as it kick-started my writing. Before, just the thought of writing a story let alone a novel would have me break out in hives. It was an insurmountable effort to me, much too easy to put off. In the end I had to leave work to take writing seriously; to approach it like a job and not a hobby.

In those twelve months I spent off work I have learned more about writing than in my entire life so far. My confidence, the lack of which held me back for so long, has sky-rocketed. I'm still not sure if I have what it takes to get published, but I know I have the ability and dedication to write and edit a novel, and that I can do it again and again until I get it right.

When I decided to go back to work I was nervous. What if I still couldn't work and write full-time? But then I broke it down: if I commit to writing 350 words five times a week, I’ll have an 84,000 word novel in a year. I may still need time off to edit and rewrite, but hopefully only a few months here and there.

And now I know that I won't be frightened by the blank page, put off because I'm not in the 'writing zone', or tempted to research my characters more - because I've broken that blank page many times over, written my best work after I wasn't feeling up to it and experienced my story and characters develop independently of any nitty-gritty research that I've done. (That isn't to say that research is important, but that in the past I've used it as a reason to procrastinate.)

In short, I'm feeling good about September.

18 comments:

JJ said...

Wow that's a big decision: actually they were both big decisions - stopping work to write and then returning to work. It's great to hear what a difference it's made to your writing confidence too. Really fabulous.

Debs said...

I'm sure you'll be fine and have no problem keeping up with your word count.

I would love to be a lady of leisure, what bliss but then I do have a bit of fun at work too and all those people are a constant source of inspiration of one sort or another.

Alix said...

That's wonderful that you feel so positive about everything and your in the yes I can mind set.
Yes being a lady of leisure does pale after a while which I why I need a project seeing job are surprisingly hard to come by!

KAREN said...

What a postive post - sounds like you've made some wise decisions. I manage to mix work and writing and once you get into the 'habit' it sticks. More or less :o)

Yvonne said...

JJ, thank you, I think that's the best thing to come out of this experience - a boost to my confidence in my writing.

Debs, cheers! I do have fun at work, I'm definitely a people person and like you I've found inspiration in my coworkers!

Alix, thank you, best of luck with your project ideas - I'm dying to see what you come up with!

Karen, thanks, bloggers who work and write like you were a definite inspiration for this decision. I thought: they manage to find a balance, so there's no reason why I can't!

Angie said...

Props for the big decision. You sound very settled in it, which is great. I'm wrestling with the same decision right now, but I'm putting it off until September...we'll see. It is scary to think we won't find the time to write while we're working, but once you've committed to writing, I think you make the time.

Angie said...

p.s. If you don't mind me asking, are you looking for a legal secretary job, or pursuing a job in your old field?

Yvonne said...

Angie, thanks, it was a few weeks coming - and I am nervous that writing will go out the window when I'm in a job, but we'll see. I'll look for a legal secretarial job as my old field is not doing so well at the moment - and legal secretarial work means regular hours and no overdose of writing during the day!

SpiralSkies said...

I hate to admit it but I do feel more inspired by actually being out in the real world.

Could you have the best of both worlds and go back to temping?

I found that employers are really accommodating when they think we're creative types. makes slacking acceptable, somehow :)

Yvonne said...

Hi Jen, I will be temping which is great, but most of the contracts seem to be rolling ones that last several months. If I have gaps inbetween then I can write more, and if I have loads of work then more cash - win-win!

Yvonne said...

And I agree with the slacking thing - people were amazed in my last job that they had an 'artist' in their midst!

beth said...

Excellent perspective, and so well expressed!!

jen said...

Got to say, I made a terrible lady of leisure when I was unemployed. For me, it was the social side, the daily chats with lots of different people, that I missed the most - although I definitely needed the money too!

Best of luck with this next phase!

Yvonne said...

Beth, thank you so much!

Jen, you hit the nail on the head, I really miss the social side too. It's hard to do meet up with people and not spend money!

Lane said...

It sounds like your time off has been invaluable, both in the writing you've done and breaking through all those procrastinating excuses we give ourselves.

Great post!:-)

Yvonne said...

Lane, thank you! Now we'll see what happens when I actually take the plunge - I might write a post asking for tips!

KatW said...

You sound like you have a plan clear in your head and will put what you've learnt to good use. I think that you'll have no problem getting your writing done because you seem committed, determined and organised. Great inspirational attitude!

Yvonne said...

Katw, thank you very much, I really hope I'm able to keep up the writing...but I think I will, with all the support out there.