V is for Vocation




I’m pretty sure that very few of us write for a living. In that I mean the sole source of income comes from writing. Most of us have other occupations…and YES, I consider staying home to raise a family an occupation…and our pursuit of publication takes place in our spare time. My own tag line use to read – A full-time bread winner with a part-time passion for writing. You know why I took it down? I didn’t like the impression it might leave on prospective agents if they were to read it.

My passion for writing is not a part-time thing…but the amount of time I get to spend on it is because of my everyday responsibilities. Raise your hand if this fits your situation. How different do you think things would be if writing was your only vocation? I’m certain that I would already be published (one way or the other) if all I did was work on my projects! But writing full-time is a dream that will never come to fruition, so I plug away doing what I can do, robbing sleep and family time to feed a hunger that is never satisfied.

My situation also makes me wonder what might happen when the brass ring lands in my hand and one of my books interests an agent…and then a publisher. How will I deal with edits, deadlines, marketing and promotional events, additional books on a pre-determined release schedule, all while maintaining a blog presence and working at a day job that is as demanding as it is challenging? I can tell you that I don’t have the answers right now, but I’d sure love to try and figure it out!

Although only one of them gives me a check right now…I have two vocations. During the day I’m a Customer Services Manager for a prominent food manufacturer, but at night and on the weekends I am a writer. What about you? What is your vocation?

Did you know I was holding a contest during the A-Z Challenge? You can read all about it HERE.

34 comments

  1. I used to make my living as a copywriter for radio, TV, and corporate videos. LOved it. What I miss most now that I write for myself? Deadlines. Give me time...I'll find many ways to waste it.

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  2. I am retired so can write if and when I want to.
    Must be hard work for people like you who have jobs as well as writing.

    Yvonne.

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  3. Definitely think of it as my main vocation. It's other people that put narrow definitions on things, such as earning money! Hopefully it'll come one day, but it's not my motivation.

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  4. I am a psychiatric nurse, but January last year I went from full time to one twelve hour shift a week. This was mainly to concentrate on writing, but it was for other things, too. I wanted to do a few tings well instead of many things poorly.

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  5. My vocation is writer; it has been since I was really little. But that doesn't pay the bills! I think having a job makes me more productive with my writing anyway. If I had all the time in the world to write, I might waste a lot of it because I'll think I have lots of time...until it flies by!

    Happy A to Z-ing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

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  6. I'm in the same situation. And I wonder about the same things as you. I barely have any time now. How will I handle the deadline? People do though so I hope I and you can too.

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  7. You'd manage!
    I've never wanted to be a full time author. I enjoy what I do. Full time author would be just too much pressure for me. Full time musician... that I might enjoy!

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  8. I was a full time teacher, so writing was sporadic at best. Now retired, I write daily. My retirement pays the bills though!

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  9. I'm a full time writer and illustrator.
    Although I love what I do--I sometimes feel the pressure too--but I think I would feel that in any job.
    This is the only gig I've had where I like to wake up and do it.
    :) Pen
    Visiting from A to Z: www.penelopecrowe.blogspot.com

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  10. I never quit my full time jobs even though I have made enough money to support myself. Not in the lapse of luxury but pay the bills. I never wanted to stay at home and just write. My reason is simple. Writing is about relating to experiences and people. How many life experiences and people do you meet sitting alone in your office writing?

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  11. "robbing sleep and family time to feed a hunger that is never satisfied" - That's me, DL, that is me.

    To be honest, all of the work I put into establishing my blog/social media presence/straightforward writing of my books have ended up acting as endurance training for publication (I'm self-published.) The time juggling factor only grows, the moment your dream becomes a reality. However, in my experience and in the experiences of the other writers in my group, you develop stamina as you go along. The schedule that would have crushed you in the early stages becomes manageable later on.

    It goes without saying that it all becomes worth it. What can we do? We're writers.

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  12. I used to write as a copywriter. While it was great to be able to write all day, I found that I was pretty tired of writing by the time I got home to work on my own stuff. So I guess I'm glad that's over since I can now focus on my own stuff without feeling like I've used u all my writing juices. You're a customer services manager? You and my hubby have a lot in common then besides just your degree :)

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  13. Since you are someone who definitely seems to have their priorities in order; WHEN THE TIME COMES, I'm sure you'll find a way to make it work keeping said priorities where they should be. Good Luck!

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  14. Hi Don .. needs must - but being out and about broadens the horizons; also you don't stop writing you're fulfilling your passion - and I'm sure things will happen .. we never know when the door will open ..

    Cheers Hilary

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  15. It's so hard splitting your very precious minutes, but way to keep at it! I juggle multiple professions--educator, writer, composer, activities coordinator, and housekeeper. I need one of those machines that duplicates you, and then another machine that can merge all the memories into one place at the end of the day. ;)

    Multitasking... We should establish that as a profession too.

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  16. Hey, DL,

    The dream is a great one.. writing full time. Well guess what? I did for almost two years when my design business crashed. I wrote two books in two years. And neither have been published as of yet... HOWEVER..... I have LEARNED so much in that time and now that my design work is slowly picking up again and I have less time to write, my QUALITY is far superior. AS with everything, it's all about the timing. AND WHEN YOUR novel does get picked up DL... YOU WILL find the time to DO IT ALL.

    All the best!

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  17. My vocation? Goof-off extraordinaire. I work in the very conservative legal industry and my blog is my only outlet for creativity and FUN!

    thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com

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  18. When I saw the title of your post, I actually thought of a religious vocation first.

    My current vocation is being a graduate student, a whole decade after getting my BA. I'm hoping to work in an archive, a museum, or an academic library after getting my degree. Prior, I worked in the production room of a local newspaper for five years.

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  19. I thought you wrote vacation for a second. Dang it.

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  20. i want to have more free time to write/design... while being sick this month i have been working on four books... wait i don't think that is what we are talking about... like matthew i thought you said, vacation.

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  21. I am a early in the morning and weekend writer, fitting the rest of my life around what I need to do to keep the family up and running. It used to be my kids, but now I'm into elder care. The latter is much more taxing, I'm here to tell you.

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  22. This is me shaking your hand for your comment that staying home to raise kids is an occupation. I'm a homeschooling mom, which I love and approach as a job. Because it's a big commitment, my writing time is relegated to evenings and weekends. I'm usually up into the wee hours of the night. Fortunately, I'm a night owl by nature and this is my most creative time of day. Great post DL!

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  23. I'm retired and write because I enjoy it. Not sure if I will ever get around to writing anything longer. Earlier this year I contracted with a school district to write grants (it's really a form of fiction) and found that getting paid to write wasn't as much fun. The money was good though and we received several big grants to help fund our 3.5 million dollar football stadium project.

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  24. DL you seem so focused and organized that I'm sure you'll cope with any challenge that comes your way.

    Writer In Transit

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  25. I'm raising my hand. I'm in the same situation for you and I have deadlines! It takes a lot to get my books done. Stress, that is.

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  26. DL, you have what it takes to handle it.

    I own several businesses, so my vocation is all over the map. Professional speaker comes first.

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  27. I'm a stay at home mom. Best. Job. Ever. Also the hardest job ever because you can never leave and go home. I do wonder about how it will be when I get published. At this point my kids are small, writing is sporadic, though I try very hard to make time each day. Deadlines would make it harder. Still, I think it might be worth it.

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  28. I work from home which is great with a 2nd grader and trying to write.

    I think we would all manage to fit in whatever we needed to. If something has to give it will.

    Heather

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  29. I'd love to to try and figure it out, too, DL.

    At first I thought your subject was Vacation... which is what my blog will take in about one week!

    IT support here with late hours. Every night I have the opportunity to write, if only discipline would allow.

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  30. I was a stay-at-home Mom for 16 years and I want to thank you, DL, for saying that's a full-time occupation! Many people don't understand that. But while I was lucky enough to be at home with my kids, giving them plenty of love and encouragement, watching their first steps, hearing their first words, reading to them every day, I also managed to keep a large house clean and organized and a family well-fed and on schedule. What I didn't manage to do much of was write. I was exhausted by the time I got the kids to bed in the evenings.

    Maybe if I had pushed myself harder, or insisted to my husband that I needed time to myself, I'd have been published 20 years ago. When I went back to work outside the home ten years ago, my clean, well-ordered house became a thing of the past. But I'd rather write than vacuum. :)

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  31. Family and faith, writing and hobbies, income and work to be done...ah life, it just keeps going...

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  32. I think it's important to find a vocation that you like or love that still leaves you with the energy to write at the end of the day. I feel like my job leaves me with plenty of time for writing, editing, and revising if that call ever came for me.

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  34. I was a web developer and software engineer for many years until I got bored with it. I began writing part-time a couple of years ago, and was recently able to quit my old job a write articles full time, mostly for Yahoo, and for CroudSource through MTurk. I'm so much happier now!

    #atozchallenge, Kristen's blog: kristenhead.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

 

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