So September is upon us. I’ve been feeling like I’m in a back-to-school mentality mode, though I have no reason to–my only child isn’t in school yet. And I’m not planning to start the edits on my novel until October, giving me a full three months for it to sit and percolate.
I haven’t been completely bored. I’ve been working on some fun freewrites that have turned into stories. Some of them I’ve been doing for contests, some just out of pure fun.
Mainly, though, I’ve been pondering how long I can do this. This whole “full-time writer”, work at home mother thing.
Don’t get me wrong. Being a stay-at-home mother is awesome. In staying home, I’m doing something valuable for my son. I’m extremely grateful for my hubby, who works very, very hard at his job, to allow me to do this. I really have no desire yet to re-enter the workforce. Granted, I had fun and I was good at being an administrative assistant. In staying home and working on my writing projects, I have a chance that so few writers get–some allotted time to focus on their work (albeit it is interrupted many times by “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!”)
But being the worrywort that I am, I’m also looking towards the future. My kid won’t be a toddler forever. He seems to be racing towards independence faster than I can chase him. Just this week, we finally took down his crib and put up a bed, and that has opened new avenues for him to race down (with his mommy desperately panting behind him). Soon, my kid will be in preschool, and I will find myself with wondering, what now?
Should I continue to be a stay-at-home mom? Is it possible that I can bring in some extra money working at home? How can I do that and focus on writing at the same time? I know that you could never get rich writing fiction, but at the same time, I don’t want to get burned out working as a freelancer. I don’t know how to teach, nor do I have a desire to. So if I need to go to work and continue to write, what are my options? What, exactly, is a perfect job for a writer?
Perhaps the whole point will be moot. By the time next year rolls around, I could be flat on my back pushing out another kid. Or I could be working part-time at a cafe. Or full-time as a secretary again. Or maybe, just maybe, my novel will be such a big hit that I will become the next J.K. Rowling, and I will be rolling in money. Maybe get a huge house with servants. Make it so I will never have to work again. Just sit on the beach and crank out books.
Or maybe the Apocalypse will come instead.
Time is precious. What is happening today could be completely different a day, a month, a year from now. As writers, we need to be strong managers of our time, whether the time we allotted for write is only 15 minutes, or whether it’s several hours. We need to decide when we should work hard and when it’s okay for us to take time off to rest. It’s all equally good. But whatever we decide, we need to use the time wisely.
Hmm. Maybe I should move my novel editing phase up by a week. Then again, I do want to finish these stories and get them out the door. But I shouldn’t rush through them. Oh no. I think I’ll just take my own, sweet time.