Do you have a Day Job? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 08-29-2009, 04:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Does anyone else write while also working outside the home and being the mother of babies? This is what I'm trying to do.

I'm just curious if anyone has actually pulled this off or am I just setting myself up for failure. I'm trying to set myself up to quit my day job (or maybe just work one day a week) and be a WAHM writer, but I can't afford to do this yet. I haven't made any money writing yet, becasue I don't have a lot of time or energy to write (catch 22). Has anyone been through this? Is there hope in perseverance?

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#2 of 9 Old 08-29-2009, 09:51 PM
 
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I WOTH until I got laid off in July. I wrote my novel and did most of the editing prior to the layoff, and was making better progress back then, too! To be honest, all of the writers I know in person (fiction writers, many of them successfully publishing novels) have day jobs. Fiction is not a particularly lucrative field.

I do know several people who work as non-fiction writers, including one woman who is a freelance magazine article writer and a few technical writers (but they aren't freelance).

Erin, mom to DD (1/06) and DS (10/09)
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#3 of 9 Old 08-30-2009, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I WOTH until I got laid off in July. I wrote my novel and did most of the editing prior to the layoff, and was making better progress back then, too! To be honest, all of the writers I know in person (fiction writers, many of them successfully publishing novels) have day jobs. Fiction is not a particularly lucrative field.

I do know several people who work as non-fiction writers, including one woman who is a freelance magazine article writer and a few technical writers (but they aren't freelance).

I see - so it is possible to do. If I may ask, when did you write when you WOTH? I find myself writing in my car during my lunch 1/2 hour or while waiting in the car line to pick up DD1 at school. Consequently, I'm not making much progress. I put the kids to bed by 8:00PM, but my brain is just mush by the end of the day. I don't know how Midnightwriter does it. I wish I had more energy at night. Does it get better as the kids get older or are some people just night people?

Anyway, thanks for your reply. I just wanted to know if people really did this. I do have to be more realistic about quitting my day job. I am fortunate enough to have a well paying job. I'd be crazy to quit. I've just always wanted to write, and I want to be able to always pick the kids up at school and be there for all the assemblies, and not have to worry about who's going to cover my shift if I have to pick someone up early or take them to the doctor... but then again, who doesn't?

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#4 of 9 Old 08-31-2009, 01:56 AM
 
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When I worked I took the bus to work, and it was about 30-45 minutes each way. So I often used that time to scribble notes or partial scenes or just think really hard about how to solve whatever plot tangle I was working on. Then I would sit down with my laptime for a bit after DD was in bed to type up my notes or do some fresh writing. As much as I always hated my commute (I only live 10 miles from my ex-workplace, it's just that traffic is horrible between here and there) I did get a lot of good thinking in. I find that driving alone is also helpful... though I hardly ever get to do that at all anymore, either. I get a lot less "thinking time" now that I'm home with DD all day.

Erin, mom to DD (1/06) and DS (10/09)
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#5 of 9 Old 08-31-2009, 04:16 AM
 
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poetrymom, I don't see myself quitting my day job, because I love it. However, yes: I have a part time day job, I write in the evenings (primarily paid blogging and nonfiction, though fiction on weekends). I only have one child, and she is now four. I started writing seriously when she was 6 months old, but it's only in the last year that I decided to treat it as a part time job.

I could write while she napped, but then she stopped napping and still wasn't sleeping well at night. Now I write after she (and dh) both go to bed. Since I want to be with her during the day time at least four days a week, my writing depends on her sleeping!

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#6 of 9 Old 09-08-2009, 02:43 PM
 
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I WOHM full-time and have a DD who just turned 1. I earn very little from my writing at the moment--certainly not enough to replace what I make at my current job--so at least for the foreseeable future, I'm going to be squeezing writing time in!

I have fairly limited time for writing at the moment. I write in the a.m. before DD wakes up or at night after she goes to sleep. I also write a bit during the workday (yeah, yeah, I know).

Although my writing time is much restricted these days, I don't think it's impacting me all that much. I tend to have a lot more time to think things over in my head (commute, long nursing sessions) before I get to paper or keyboard so I can get a lot of stuff down on paper in pretty decent shape.

The thing that's killing me is not having time for the mailing/querying/envelopes/stamps/tracking submissions part. I'm almost ready to hire someone for a few hours of this kind of work each week!

Mama to DD : 09/08
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#7 of 9 Old 10-04-2009, 07:07 PM
 
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I recently quit my day job. I was a writer. I worked several years as a writer in the advertising, marketing and consumer packaging world. I loved it, loved the work, certainly liked the money. It was a fun and creative job, working with fun and creative people. Part of me feels ungrateful and guilty for not loving it enough to stay.

I just had too many gigs going on. I didn't quit so that I could begin writing my own creative work again; I quit because I had to for my family. I have 2 dcs in grade school, my dh travels extensively for his job, and we also run a small farm where we raise a lot of our own food. That means insanity from July through September.

I quit nearly two months ago. Just today I have reclaimed time to write, and I will begin my WIP again tonight once kids are in bed.

Under "normal" circumstances, I guess I would have written over my lunch break each day. But instead I usually ran important errands related to family or farm during that time. Early mornings were barn time, evenings were barn and household time, and by the time I got the kids to bed, forget it. Between the manual labor and the brain job, I had no creative energy left. So I am pretty excited to have my days now. I have my work to do, but I can structure my writing time into the days. I'll be experimenting to see when things work best.

One great gift the day job gave me was confidence in my own writing. I know that I am a skilled wordsmith when I need to be. The question now will be whether I possess the discipline I need to create for myself instead of for clients and bosses.

One more thought. Did anyone else find that they just had no creative energy to spare while nursing? For me, this was a loss I actually grieved.
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#8 of 9 Old 10-09-2009, 06:13 PM
 
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One more thought. Did anyone else find that they just had no creative energy to spare while nursing? For me, this was a loss I actually grieved.
I am almost right there with you, and worse. I am still nursing DD (22 months) quite a lot. Last year I did NaNoWriMo and put together a grant application in November. I could do it, but at the end of the month I was fried. I really need time away from her to write. I re-wrote one novel while I was pregnant with her and did a partial re-draft and completion of my NNWM novel last spring and early summer, plus a few short pieces in between. I have managed, but I was working to my limits even without an OTH job.

I got pregnant a couple of months ago and I just knew that I wouldn't have the energy for pregnancy, nursing, and writing fiction. About a week and a half ago, at what should have been week 10 or so of pregnancy I got a burst of mental and physical energy. Went in for the 11 week ultrasound and found out that the baby had stopped developing sometime in the past few weeks, and had never really hooked up to the placenta properly or anything.

I was a little sad, but my overwhelming thought was: Now I'll be able to finish my novel (total overhaul re-draft) before we have another baby! I am so excited about the novel, working on the house renovation, and the garden I want to put in next spring that I can't find time to be sad about losing the pregnancy. I'm sure it will hit me at some point (maybe when I start actually bleeding) but for now, I'm going with the happy feelings and focusing on getting the three of us settled into our new lives here.

I hope to wean DD gradually over the course of the next few months. We'll see if that helps my brain any!
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#9 of 9 Old 10-16-2009, 07:18 AM
 
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One more thought. Did anyone else find that they just had no creative energy to spare while nursing? For me, this was a loss I actually grieved.
i just weaned my three year old after 5 years straight of nursing (nursed my older through my second pregnancy) and i have had a HUGE surge of creative energy since this time.

now granted there are other factors like they are both (generally) sleeping through the night in their own beds and they are in school a couple of days a week.

but yes. i think huge amounts of our creative energy go into growing and birthing and nursing our babes. definitely.
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