Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The Insecure Writer and Having to Make A Living By Writing


Today is December's contribution to Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.

Why am I an Insecure Writer this month?

Because I may turn out to be a full time writer, whether I want to or not.

My company is currently undergoing a significant downsizing, and no one here knows what their future is, including me. When I took this job three years ago, I thought my future was golden.  The company had already downsized to a profitable state before I arrived, and they appeared to be ready for the next economic downturn. And most importantly, the project I was hired into looked as though it would be a top priority for the company and thus well-funded for years to come.  But right now, no one feels safe, and only time will tell who survives the next several months.

I’ve fantasized about what it might be like to be a full-time writer, and while it sounds kind of romantic, I’ve never really considered it much of a possibility, at least not until after I retire.  Even if I had all day to write, I still don’t think I’d be able to write more than one book a year (if that) and I doubt that’s enough to support myself and my family. Perhaps if I had a sizable backlist it would work, but even under the best of scenarios, it would be years before I could build up a stable of books.

We’ll just have to see what the future brings. Too bad I can’t simply write my own ending like I do in my stories.  


This month's question:
What five items would you find in my writing space?

Not counting the normal writing items, computer, pens, and paper, you’d find:
1. Patchouli incense sticks. (For the ambiance)
2. Candles, usually lit. (Also for the ambiance)
3. Tons of reference books for writing.
4. Alchemical paraphernalia and Harry Potter related items. (They put me in the mood to write fantasy)
5. Empty soda cans.


ChemistKen



22 comments:

  1. Egads! You've had your fill of life smacking you lately. I hope your job works out in your favor.

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  2. I like the balance you've created: candles and soda cans (contents consumed). I think you have the perfect set up for writing.

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  3. Bummer! And what timing - right around the holidays. Pray you are one that stays. Writing full time isn't something I'd want to do either. Like you, I couldn't turn out more than one book a year.

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  4. Thinking of you during this unstable time. Plus writing full time is actually hard work. It takes discipline. The more time you have, the more of it you waste. At least, that's been my experience. So may you not lose your job!!!

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  5. We'll be hoping and praying you are not downsized. I barely make it as a publisher so I can't imagine making it as a full time author.

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  6. I hope you don't get downsized. It's tough to make a living as a full-time writer, but it's fun trying.

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  7. Crossing my fingers for you about the job. Hate you have to worry about that again so soon. I need to get some Harry Potter buddies to add to my Star War buddies as I love that world too.

    Happy IWSG Day.

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  8. Well, Ken, you have an insecure month ahead. I hope your job is safe, but as my Hubs (and I) knows, no job is safe these days. You just do your best and hope it's good enough. This is a terrible time to be downsized. Our 1st time (being downsized) was in December. I hope all goes well for you.

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  9. My life is pretty insecure right now, too, but I'm hoping the writing thing will work out. Maybe if you weren't working a full-time job already, you might have the time to write faster.

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  10. Oh gosh, I'm sorry you are going through this. I have been through it before and it's so stressful and scary. I hope you will be able to keep your job and things will improve in the new year. Take care!

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  11. Sorry to hear about your job situation. Hope things work out for you. Personally, I really want to write as a full time job, but I also want to do it on my own terms and with my creative freedom secure. I'd hate to be forced into writing things I don't want to write just to pay the bills.

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  12. Whatever comes, I know you are strong enough to come out golden. Stay strong. :-)

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  13. Sounds very stressful. Stable employment means a lot nowadays. I hope you'll be safe.

    I have to ask, what's the empty soda cans for?

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  14. That's such a tough situation to be in. The not-knowing is very taxing. I hope everything turns out well. :)

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  15. My heart goes to you. I worked for my last four years knowing I'd be laid off at my job due to funding issues after there 25 years and then was laid off about 8 months after my husband died. The uncertainty is so rough. I'm a contract writer now and make money every month, but so much less than what I used to make. I can only do it because I'm not supporting my family and am over 60 years old. I hope you don't get laid off too, but also hope you figure it out if you do. Feel free to e-mail me if you want to talk about it more.

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  16. Sorry to hear about the stress, and I hope it works out as it should.
    As to the soda cans, are you building Hogwarts with them? My husband once tried to build a castle with empty cans, so I have to ask.

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  17. So sorry about the job - downsizing is SO stressful!!! WE've had to deal with it in our family as well. It's not easy. I'll cross my fingers for you
    I'm glad you've got your HP goodies around - they're great for inspiration!

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  18. I'm so sorry about your job. I hope it all works out and you have a super happy ending to the job situation or have awesome success with your writing soon.
    I love your items on your desk - sounds like great ambiance to me.

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  19. Two years ago, my hubby was in your shoes. We had 2 weeks of wondering what would happen. His bosses eventually figured stuff out and he's still working, but it was scary. So, I feel your fear. I'm crossing my fingers for you that you find out soon because the wait is super stressful.

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  20. Sorry to hear, Ken. That kind of insecurity and fearing the unknown is absolutely horrible. So stressful for everyone involved.

    I stumbled across a writer who only has two books out, and manages to make a living from doing a vlog on YouTube, so it is possible. Hang in there. Hopefully everything works out for the best.

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  21. Downsizing is a horrid thing. It happened to me twice and both times it was devastating. But that's why I'm writing, the only bad thing about that is the money from writing is barely break even, and that doesn't cover the money needed to live on, like housing and food. But I'm lucky enough to have a working husband. He too was downsized twice, he totally changed his career path, and we managed to stay out of debtors prison, but it was close.
    I wish you much luck and bright future no matter what happens or what path you choose!
    Try to have a Merry Christmas! Hoping the New Year brings you all the best!

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  22. I don't think many of us can support ourselves with our writing and publishing. Try not to put so much pressure on yourself. And I'm sorry to hear about the downsizing. Keep your head up.

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