Something I found out recently is that agents typically have to work an additionally full time job in order to afford being an agent. Since most agents don’t get paid unless a book they rep sells, their income is as sporadic as a “full time” writer’s. Most of us know that if you are a writer, whether unknown or even a “best seller,” that you probably either have a spouse who can afford to support you, or you work a dayjob. Pre-covid, I worked as a bookseller. After a full day of serving customers, needing to come home and shower, make dinner, spend time with my husband and our cats, it might seem like the LAST thing I want to do is sit down and write. However, if I want to be a writer, it’s something I must do. You might have kids, a job and spouse or partner of your own, and a million things to do around the house as well.
I think a big part of this is KNOWING YOURSELF. For example, I know that no matter what time I wake up and no matter what I do all day, once six pm hits I am DONE. I cannot think. While sometimes it’s possible for me to come home and knock out a few hundred words, I don’t want to rely on maybes. I know that I work best in the morning. So pre-covid, that meant waking up at six and writing for an hour before getting ready for the day. I did that for the three days a week I opened, and the other two days where I closed I wrote before work as well. Now that I am temporarily unemployed I still wake up at 5:30 or six*. I worked full time all through college and grad school, up to 50 hours a week. I didn’t have much time or energy to write. I made a promise to myself that when I graduated, writing was my priority. I go a little hard. I sacrifice hanging out with friends, or spending time doing other activities I might be interested in. i know that I might be a little bit of an extremist, but my line of thinking is I should take this precious time and apply it to my dreams. If I am ever so lucky to see my work published, it will be worth it for me. But I am just me. I am an all or nothing gal. and again, I don’t have kids yet. Don’t know if I will. So I choose to sacrifice my time now. So that in the future I might be lucky enough to have my dreams fulfilled and have more time to spend on new things. What are your dreams? Where do you want to take your art? What do you choose to sacrifice?
*seasonal depression would like to add that this was written over the summer, and now it’s more like 7:30 or 8 depending on sunrise.