Making Writing Work

Here’s a question that has been plaguing me: will I ever feel like an author?

Some backstory on why that question has been on my mind lately:
My husband and I often have long conversations in our kitchen–I prefer to sit on the countertop, and he likes to sit on the floor in front of me. The conversations are typically pretty chill: we share stories about the things we did while we were apart that day or talk about what we want to eat for dinner.

Sometimes, though, the conversations are harder. We had one of those harder conversations over the weekend.

I have a book out–it’s available for sale. You can buy it right now. But I don’t feel like an author. I still see writing as a hobby, because it’s a thing I do for fun. If it makes me a little bit of cash on the side, that’s great. But it’s not my day job, which is why I have trouble calling my writing “work”.

We have a pretty crazy schedule for two people with no kids. Seriously. You should see our family Google calendar–the colors and time blocks are insane. My husband’s career has lots of potential after-hours add-ons, like meet-ups and volunteer opportunities, that he likes to take part in. I work fewer hours each week than he does, so I try to do as much of the running around and household management as I can. We also have a host of additional commitments that often take us both out of town at least three to five days a week. And even with all that, I usually put in 6-12 hours a day on book-related stuff.

I hadn’t realized that until he pointed it out to me.

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Image by Startup Stock Photos via Stocksnap

Because it’s something I enjoy doing, I hadn’t ever really calculated–or mentally registered–just how much time I’ve been devoting to writing.

To my (pleasant) surprise, my husband was concerned that our hectic schedules–especially as we dive deeper into the holidays and have to deal with our separate families’ schedules as well!–are interfering with the time I’d like to spend on my writing.

I explained that I don’t really feel like I can stake a claim in time to spend on book stuff because it’s not my job. But he pointed out that it kinda is my job, now. I have readers. I have people who are signed up for my mailing list–people who are already excited about the next book! I owe it to them to get the book out and I owe it to myself to take my craft seriously.

So we’re starting a new thing in our household. We’re officially adding my writing schedule to the family calendar. It’s no longer a time where things can slip in and displace my desire to pound out 2,000 words. Now, during the times I typically devote to writing, we’re pretending that I’m going to my second job. Heck, with the new year coming in, I might actually decide to start going to a different location while I’m doing my book work. Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves…I really like being able to write from the comfort of home, not to mention the easy access to my tea kettle and coffee maker!

I love the fact that my husband takes my writing so seriously. It means the world to me that he’s so supportive and that he believes in me. But I have a hard time getting past the idea that the rest of the world (including me) still sees me as a “writer” instead of a writer.

Will I ever feel like an author? Or will it forever be this tenuous?

I guess there’s really only one way to find out: just keep writing.

5 thoughts on “Making Writing Work

  1. It’s interesting to read this because I have often asked myself when I’d feel like a professional musician. Not sure I even do after 3.5 years of making my life as a musician. I’ve also been wondering about this concerning you for a while but just haven’t asked because I know how hard it is to answer. I have loved this post. It has made quite happy.

    1. Glad I could answer your unvoiced question–maybe some of that weird long-term friend intuition told me I should talk about it 😉

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