Alexis Leno is the newest, and I think it's safe to say youngest, author among our guest bloggers this week. She has just recently published her debut novel, Shifting Fate. I am one of the full-time mothers she refers to in her post below, and I relate to the dilemma she presents. I hope you will enjoy the following essay by Alexis Leno, and join me in wishing Alexis all the best in her writing career!
Writing vs. The Day Job
I know that, for many of us, writing is not our main source of income. Akin to authors like Nicholas Sparks, we write AND work. And, I’m not just talking about those of us that physically go into work each day, but all of the full-time mothers out there and family caregivers. With all of these responsibilities, how do we find the time to sit down and practice our craft?
We make time. For me, there are those lonely hours at night where I can’t sleep that I find my computer calling to me. I am a full-time student, currently, and I generally spend my days setting time aside for actual homework. If I don’t, I will get distracted by the stories in my head and put off my other responsibilities.
For the past week, I have been on Spring Break and I am currently in the market looking for a full-time job. One of my offers is a really neat research opportunity. This week, I have been sitting in and watching them work their systems in an effort to become better acquainted with the work they are doing before I start. I never realized how exhausting it would be and how, at the end of the day, I wouldn’t feel like doing anything, not even writing. I just want to sit around and watch television, let the words go in one ear and out the other. My brain stops working.
So, I am asking those of you out there reading this: what do you do to find the time and get your brain working again? I found myself unable to sleep and wrote well into the night, but this is unrealistic. I can’t have two full-time jobs, writing and work. I will never sleep! My current solution is to just find the time each day, sit down and write some words. Any words will do.
Most authors recommend this, but have they ever had to juggle multiple responsibilities at once? Have they had to work, be a mother, a wife, and a writer? I find myself lucky to just be a student and a writer, but as I grow older, my responsibilities will grow. In all likelihood, the time I have to write will diminish. I am not writing for the fortune, but rather for the inherent need I have to get my stories out of my head on and the page.
The only thing I can say is that with my growing responsibilities will come greater knowledge in how the world works. This can only help my writing. I hope, that like others out there, I will continue to find the time to do what I love to do. I know that we all wish that writing were our full-time job. Even when it is, it isn’t.
Alexis Leno has just recently published her debut novel, Shifting Fate, now available on Amazon.com. She is currently working on the sequel to Shifting Fate and a Master's Degree in Software Engineering. Alexis enjoys reading, writing, and cooking. You can learn more about Alexis by following her on her blog.