What do you do for a living?

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I'm very curious what writers do to pay the bills besides writing.

 I'm applying to creative writing programs but cannot determine where my hesitancy comes from. For some reason, it doesn't feel right. It may be because I have a family and have already seen what happens to people who arent prepared for economic crisis...ie...me.

I have a BFA in painting and am finding that, even though I am passionate about literature and poetry and creative expression, I have doubts that another creative degree would be a wise choice. Is this a copout or does it make sense to anyone else on here? 

p.s. I read a line in Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections that basically said something to the effect of : 'it was a sign that he was failing- an hour of worry to every 5 minutes of (creative?)output.'  And here I am, worrying to no end. sigh.

 

 

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Hey Jana, That's a great question. I teach, and I can teach because I have an MFA but that's not why I did it in the first place. I did it because I wanted to write--no matter what. An MFA gives you a couple of years to work on your writing and get feedback from your instructors or peers. You certainly don't need an MFA to be a writer, but it does allow you time to write and enables you to get to know other writers. I'm still friends with many of the people I did my Masters with many years ago. I loved doing it; it was a great experience. But it's not a degree that is going to lead straight to a job I'm afraid.
I think that sounds great. I wouldn't mind being forced to read and write. I envy you for knowing what you wanted to do and doing it. AND you get to be canadian! I've always wanted to be Canadian.
Ha ha...about the Canadian thing. The other thing I was going to say, and it's often what I tell my students who get pressure about what they should do versus what they want to. You only have one life so it's a good idea to live it according to what you want to do. Likely if you are doing the thing you actually want to do--you will be successful because you have to be. And even though no one is going to pay you to be a creative writer, there are jobs within the industry that you may have access to with better connections (publishing, editing, freelancing, etc.). I know it's a hard decision. Good luck, Jana!
Great question, Jana—my first verbal output this morning...Tim Young has recently asked me a similar question for GALO magazine. The Franzen quote is off-putting to me, because I don't enjoy his writing at all. The whole notion of "failing" as a writer must be very important to someone like him who lives the life of a public recluse and whose motivations and output is constantly tested and questioned. Not so for me. I was a cupboard writer for the longest time, have worried while maintaining an invisible high creative output which only changed at the end of 2008 shortly before I was first published (then under a pseudonym because I felt shy about it). I don't have an MFA, I have a PhD in physics and a wall full of psychotherapy diplomas—I make my living as a tenured professor (business information systems) and as an executive coach. Since my writing has taken off and has taken me to places I didn't know existed, I have begun to shed elements of my income, so bit by bit I'm getting poorer financially but I'm gaining time for my writing and I'm lucky that my family supports my decision to do so. — Currently, I'm quite happy with my balance because when I'm teaching, I get more time to ponder and pontificate, and when I'm not, I write up a storm. Actually, for some reason (the price is sleep) I get to write a few thousand words every day anyway, but that's my personal obsession. A creative degree wouldn't really change that, in fact I'd be afraid to spend too much time with literature — and also, I wouldn't want to have to read other people's writing; I like choice.
Okay, first of all, you have a PhD. I'm guessing that somewhere along the way you learned how to write in a way that was readable at the very least. AND you have an income. I am a couple of months worth of income away from welfare. This is not your fault and I'm not attacking you or being snarky or any of that. It is just where my husband and I , as artists who hid out in the mountains for a decade thinking that life would always be easy, have ended up. It helps to have a Masters in this country to open up more doors to a livable income. Anyone who says that's not true clearly wasn't struggling to begin with or doesn't have children or both. None of this is towards you. This is my anger towards my own choices along the way and also my dismay at what it takes to make it in this world. It's preposterous what is expected of humans in order to have shelter and healthy food and the ability to get your rotten teeth taken care of. About Jonathan Franzen. The corrections is the first thing I have read by him. I do not read the New Yorker. This is not me bragging. I just dont read it; I dont read magazines. The line I referred to about the worrying too much is a sign of failure was pertaining to a character in the book who isn't a writer. Though I instantly connected with that philosophy and applied it to my writing, my music, my everything. Which was probably how JF intended it to be taken by the reader. I don't know what his other writing is like, but The Corrections blew my mind. The observations and wording of these observations punched me in the gut more than once AND as I read the ending last night, I bawled because it was motherfucking depressing and dripping with truths. So good on him for making me cry. I don't know if he is a total ego maniacal dick (arent so many artists though?) but I don't care; that book slayed me. What did you get published under a pseudonym? I'm very curious now. And congratulations on finding balance! I don't know how people do it. I'm suspecting there is some discipline and organization underlying determination and passion. Or, there is the idea of dropping it everything, all ambition and goals and just living. Thats the one that always beckons in the distance..
This answer got lost even though I read your response a while back and thought "fascinating, must reply", sorry for that, life intervened.
I follow you, Jana. I have a child and I haven't even decided what to tell her about degrees and such. My dad was a war child and he was hyper-super-worried about survival while I had it cushy by comparison as long as I worked my ass off which I've always done and as long as I could pay the therapy bills, which went on for a while but now I'm through, I suppose. Anyway, I got my PhD and evidently we have different things to worry about but death is (far) ahead, ahead still, which links us if nothing else, and the desire to make things.
Cannot say much about Franzen. I should re-read what I wrote...was it really so bad? I can't really say that I've read his work very carefully: it never really registered with me as anything I wanted to read. It's quite...American, not a bad thing, but that is of limited value to me. I'm looking for a larger canvas perhaps and I don't see that with Franzen. It's great if he got you thinking and feeling that's what it's all about, I hope to do that with my work whatever else may happen...
As for the MFA you obviously need to suit yourself. I've read Anis Shivani's articles on the subject and in Europe MFAs don't count with respect to creative writing careers or publication or readers. I do believe that good work will find its market, and great work will anyway. Shivani says an MFA will stand in the way, I can follow his arguments, but I'm not sure. I rather believe in James Hillman's acorn theory: each of us has a daimon who knows what it wants from us and what we're capable of and the daimon will come through either way. It's a little fatalistic but it gives hope too, sometimes, to think that you're not just responsible for every nook and cranny of every fork in the road and every stupid decision you ever made...and besides, you write beautifully about your choices and your life, with lots of passion and skill if I may say so: I'd read THAT story and I'm sure 1 Mio people elsewhere will, too. Cheers from Berlin!
...still open the question "how did I learn to write". In school I think. I went to a school where I learnt Latin and Greek for nine years that did help, but more importantly my father who also wrote imprinted on me the need to write well from the early age of 5 or so. So it's been a long journey — I am 48 now. Of course all that was in German and my literary work is all in English. Go figure, I can't make head or tails of it except that I've always loved in English...
Publishing under a pseudonym: all my work as "Finnegan Flawnt" was published as a pseudonym and it hasn't damaged me I think. Useful as a protection in the early days...but I've only published since 2009.
Marcus- I'm fascinated by this physics phd (by physics period) and I'm hoping you can help me with time travel. i know Ray Montalvo is also interested so perhaps a team effort. :) Regarding higher learning and children, I sent my son to school through second grade and then, because of a learning disability that would have landed him in special ed feeling frustrated, I pulled him out and 'unschooled' him until the age of 14. I let him do whatever he desired. That consisted of legos and pokemon, for years and years and years...I didnt force him to read or do math and he only took community classes like science, theatre, rock climbing etc... Now he's in high school, tests on the high end of the bullshit standardized testing they enforce, and he wants to be an engineer (and a fashion model haha). I don't think my preschooler will be unschooled because she basically already owns a briefcase and is ready to get down to business. Regarding Franzen- I've only read The Corrections. I think I'll read Freedom also. With the Corrections I noticed it had the same effect on people (who disliked the book) that the movie American Beauty had. The metaphors and characters in each one either makes them uncomfortable or leaves a bad taste. I found the Franzens characters very unlikable but he pulled me along with his observations, at times poetic and always dark, and the plot. By the end I didnt like the family at all but found myself crying at the outcome of their lives. I think I'm going to pass on the writing MFA. I'm interested in working with under served populations and will go in that direction. Thanks for this insight, I will check out the James Hillman theory, sounds intriguing. And thank you so much for those very nice words, I see the same thing in you. Cheers from Seattle where the sun is finally shining!
Jana, thanks for your reply. Interesting about your son: in Germany, homeschooling is seen as schooling from the devil — personally, though (because?) both I and my wife have been through rigorous academic training, I favor your path and it is what I would want for my daughter (who is torturing me as I write this...). I've come to see school as rather an obstacle to the development of personality and talent. Our compromise was to send her to a Waldorf school where they let the kids be kids—a private school that finances itself largely through work of the parents, eyed suspiciously by a public that demands Mandarin from 3-year olds and high-octane sex from its 63-year olds. (In between 3 and 63 everybody should, of course, shop their heads off—we're just re-viewing the animation series "Daria": essential education!). I'd love to get to Seattle at some point, but as I think I said, I'm scaling down to find more time to write. Thanks for befriending me on Facebook & for joining my glorious page too, that beachhead of flash fiction in Germany...also: time travel is overrated, as is physics.
I've always worked a day job to pay the bills ever since getting my BFA in painting...I worked at a college bookstore as a textbook order clerk, and then did time as a secretary...and presently (since 1998) I've had the good fortune to be the Registrar of a university art collection, which allows me to be around lots of cool art ranging from things B.C.E. to contemporary...I get some satisfaction out of being able to locate all 45, 000 of them at any given time, and handling art objects from other institutions like drawings by Michelangelo, prints by Jasper Johns, watercolors by Winslow Homer, and paintings by Jerome Witkin and Robert Stackhouse. In the meantime, I'm still making art and exhibiting locally, and writing has always been there, just a little more certain now as I make sense of the complex tales I'm creating and self-publishing them one by one. A lot of my creativity went on hold for a few years while I did my time as "mom", but I always made time to make stuff...so I understand where you're at, Jana, and I feel for you...I debated over the MFA question too, especially since I work across the quad from one of the best in the country (SU). Eventually, I decided against it, partly because I work a full time job that is a little more than full time at times, and partly because I'm a lousy student. I knew I would've been frustrating myself unnecessarily trying to go back to school at 40 (and probably frustrating my professors too.) Now that I'm stepping ever so delicately into 50, saddled with life experiences and a chronic illness, I don't regret not getting the degree. I have to work harder, I have to be more cautious at the same time that I have to be bold.
Laura, I'm sorry about your chronic illness. Can you elaborate or is it too personal? Or write me offline if you want. I don't mean to pry (no, I do mean to) I'm just very interested. I have battled minor health issues on and off- both sides of my family suffer with chronic illness- but I think I have found some semblance of health. janapumpkin@gmail.com Your job sounds amazing! There is nothing like being surrounded by paintings. I think I would've done the same thing in your position. As an outside observer of just the quickest glimpse into your life, I would like something like that for myself. The MFA feels more crucial to me now than ever because of how hard my family got hit by the collapse of the american dream economy, but maybe I could find a job at a university; then I would have benefits AND access to classes. That is brilliant. Thanks for sharing this.
Hi Jana, I really like what I’ve read of your work so far, you have a special spark to nurture, just keep going forward! Many MFA programs have good funding to offer, financial stipends with graduate assistantships, tuition and health benefits, so if you get in, you might be able to follow your dream without incurring too much additional debt. I feel very fortunate having the life I have...with that said, my creativity keeps me going forward in spite of the adversities that could have pushed me down… I don't mind talking about my illness, although there are some days that are not so good, but the good news is, it's not going to kill me! I've been ill for many years and after all the nasty things like Lyme disease and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) were ruled out, I was diagnosed with FMS (fibromyalgia), which is considered the "garbage can" name for chronic pain and fatigue symptoms with an undetermined cause—of course, once someone is diagnosed with this illness there’s the “all in your head” stigma that goes along with it. It’s been my goal to not let it define me, but I can’t ignore the impact that it has on my day-to-day life. Much of my success with dealing with the crippling symptoms I attribute to having a positive attitude, plus I’m such a stubborn little cuss, I’ll be damned that I’ll lay around feeling pitiful all day! I believe the positive influence of my artwork and writing keeps me going—if I didn’t have that creative edge I can’t imagine how my life would be. I have a good life.
I'm going to go way off RL topics here but if anyone is bothered by it they can meet me outside after school. I don't believe for one second that fibromyalgia is in a persons head, My mom has it and for a while it was suspected that I might have it. I have had a lot of physical trauma that led drs. to believe it had all led up to the inevitable decline...ie, chronic illness such as fibromyalgia. I also was convinced I was getting arthritis because it is considered hereditary. The pain in my joints and muscles was getting pretty bad, especially in the morning when I would try and get out of bed. I assumed i was in for the worst. My daughter was one yr old and was also having health problems. i took her in for allergy testing and she tested positive for dairy among other foods. Since I was breastfeeding, I had to, for the first time in my milk guzzling life, quit dairy as well. I kid you not, within a couple of months all of my pains were gone. Now, if I was selling you something , this would sound like some kind of scam. But it's true, dairy was causing severe inflammation in my body. Now, if I ever have cheese more than 2 days in a row, the joint pain comes back, my muscles get fatigued, and my injury areas flare up. I don't want to sound preachy or like I have all the answers- i just wanted to share that with you. i'm sorry you have suffered with this. I just realized I havent read any of your writing so I apologize for that and plan on doing so in the morning. Im glad you have a good life. :)
No apologies necessary for not wading into my work...I know my "girls" aren't every one's cup o' tea! (Tho' maybe you'd like Dusty Waters because she's a musician.) I haven't gotten around to reading everyone's work either, it's all so damn good (and so addicting!) At times I feel overwhelmed (which one to pick!!) Half the time I don't comment unless I'm particularly moved or catch an "oops", I'll at least hit the "Like" button for Facebook. I got a little bit behind on everything while dealing with various personal issues and other pending projects...life goes on like that. As for my FMS, I've tried eliminating dairy...but I'm such a cheese lover, I can't give it up completely...I believe in the "everything in moderation" theory...too much of a good thing can upset the balance, (I try not to eat leftovers from the night before for lunch the next day...especially if its my Homemade Mac n' Cheeze, which is so totally awesome, it's hard not to Hoover what's left the next day!) The holiday food really did me in for a few days, but I survived! My life has always been about balance...art and writing, mom and wife, do this, do that, be this, be that...I've been recently learning the word "No" (or "No, thank you") on a case by case basis...this does apply to writing (any creative venture), it's about discipline...patience, practice and persistence (not necessarily in that order.) Now I need to go back to my "practice"...I've been persistently editing my book Drinking from the Fishbowl, and I had a break through with two back to back chapters (how they related to each other) that had me stuck for a while (I really hated the transition between them, and how they ended)...I've been just tickled pink all day!
I'm a technical writer at a big software company. I posted a sort of FAQ about what I do at my job on my own blog: http://toobeautifultheblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/career-day-technical-wri... It sure pays the bills! And provides a good amount of material for fiction.
oh..... my........I barely heard a word you said about your job because when I got to the blog the first thing I noticed was a book called Lesbian Camp Girls. I like lesbians! Ummm, anyway, I've always wanted to try my hand at erotica....pun intended.
I've just been fired by Google :D So at the moment...I'm not even collecting unemployment. It's 'processing' and will be for a few weeks. I think maybe I could live off sugar and water like yer man in 'Outline of my Lover'. Sorry? Lesbian Camp Girls? I like lesbians also. I've also been thinking of writing erotica but just for the money. It sells, I guess. I'd change my name though.
I've already started crafting an erotica story which is funny because I havent been into it since being younger and reading anais nin and all that. Oh and My Secret Garden! That was passed around a lot in high school. Wasnt there some bestiality in that one? yikes! thanks for your response and good luck to you!
Hi, Janna. I never attended a creative writing program. I just wrote and did idiot jobs to support that and an acting career for decades. Finally I decided I wanted to do work I liked for money. I quit a night law secretary job and free fell for three years, finally landing at a magazine (during which time I sold a novel) ... which led to years of working at magazines, finally as managing editor for a national magazine. Great gig, but I had to fight like the dickens for fair pay since I hadn't done the regular ladder climbing. When I got laid off--in Dec. '08 as the economy imploded--I had a hefty resume as an editor, so now I freelance book edit, and I'm really good at it and love it. Whether I'm making a living, however, is debatable. But I joined Editorial Freelancers Association (http://www.the-efa.org/dir/memberinfo.php?mid=10684) and since I have a pretty clear niche, clients are finding me. FYI, my name is Betsy Robinson (http://www.BetsyRobinson-writer.com), but I signed up on Red Lemonade with a writing partner, so my ID is DeeBea (the name of the two characters in the book we want to post).
Hi Betsy. I suppose if it wasn't for that economy busting some of us might not have ended up here. Sounds like you have put a lot of work into what youre doing and I hope it pays off for you. Thanks for your response!
With a MA in Writing and God's grace, I worked 17 months as newspaper editor of a local paper, then one year as an adjunct instructor of English, and now full time instructor. Nowhere is my life's plan did I plan to be a stay at home mother for 13 years or teach in a college; however I have always wanted to write. Now, by day the classroom is my stage, and at night I'm writing at least a page. Teaching is not for everyone. Many of my peers simply teach. I teach and I do. So, for a paycheck, do something you love, as much as writing.
With a MA in Writing and God's grace, I worked 17 months as newspaper editor of a local paper, then one year as an adjunct instructor of English, and now full time instructor. Nowhere is my life's plan did I plan to be a stay at home mother for 13 years or teach in a college; however I have always wanted to write. Now, by day the classroom is my stage, and at night I'm writing at least a page. Teaching is not for everyone. Many of my peers simply teach. I teach and I do. So, for a paycheck, do something you love, as much as writing.
Angela- Red lemonade posted this on FB, dont know if you saw it: http://therumpus.net/2012/01/a-peaceful-but-very-interesting-pursuit/ I like the idea of focusing on something other than writing, at least for now. I love working with seniors, autistic youth, foster kids and others so I'm going to get back into the social services arena. Thank you for sharing this about your teaching job, I might hit you up with some grammar issues (and possibly ways to convey tone and humor more effectively on forum threads:) ) Take care.
It's not pretty but the way the wind is blowing I get by on some bartending gigs and playing my music in the Hell's Kitchen pubs. Sometimes I even get a check from BMI. It's a wicked world.
Hey, that doesn't sound so bad to me.
Jessica, I hope things look up for you. As for me, I'm employed but only barely. I work part-time retail at a clothing store and just scrape my living. I can pay rent and bills but have to depend on my grandparents for grocery money because as a postgrad with a Fiction Writing BA, I am essentially good for nothing. Because really, the "Fiction Writing" part of it only matters to me, and the BA part of it doesn't matter at all because everyone has bachelor degrees now. So I'm contemplating writing MFAs for the possibility of earning a terminal degree to teach, even though I've never particularly been moved to do so. I also would adore the respite an MFA would provide from the careening balance I try to keep between the working and writing life just so I can complete my novel.
It's sad that we spend a fortune on the worthless undergrad, and in a lot of cases graduate, degrees. I have so many friends who have graduate degrees in the arts and they are still stuck in low paying jobs. This country bites. I saw that you're also into film making and photography. I am too (and music), and am always brainstorming and experimenting with ways to bring it all together. I made a pretty weird and badly edited music video and realized a lot at that time: that I love the narrative and the pretty shots and that I suck at editing. Have you considered going for a masters in film or are you dead set on creative writing?
Actually, while I was doing my undergrad in fiction writing, I took several film classes thinking I could do a double major or at least minor in cinematography. I quickly abandoned that after two semesters because of the toll it took on my budget. Filmmaking is an extremely expensive major, not only with the course fees to pay for the maintenance of the equipment, but also with the random necessary purchases of camera tape, flashlights, pliers, C-47s (clothespins), gloves, tape measures, and other required ditty bag items. Also, nobody in the film industry cares whether or not you have a degree in the film medium. I'd have had to start as a PA and get people's coffees. Anyhow, I am dead-set on fiction. It's become my vocation. (P.S. If you need help with film editing... I always enjoyed it.)
Hi, Jana-- Interesting question with many interesting answers. I pay the bills by teaching classical ballet. I was a professional dancer, until my career was cut short by rheumatoid arthritis. When I had to quit performing, it led me to writing, which led me right back to ballet (I write a lot about dance). I split my time between writing and dancing, but regular teaching gigs and private coaching allow me the time, space, money, and material to write. I did complete a MFA in Creative Writing, which helped me so much because I had a terrific mentor, and it helped me to feel grounded in craft and community. I'm lucky to be able to thread the writing and dancing together, and make a living.
Thanks for sharing this and good luck with your writing.
Hey Jana, I was a corporate trainer for many years and I am also a certified paralegal. The combination of the two gave me the leverage in life to finally pursue writing. I woke up one day at 40 sold my house, moved into a townhouse in a less expensive city and sold some stocks to fund my little mid life crisis. I have a BBA in Business from CUNY and a Master's in Public Administration from ASU and I think both have served me better than an MFA. So for now I write and as long as the price of ramen noodles doesnt go up I should be able to hold out till at least August of 2013. I figure if I haven't gotten anything major accomplished by then I can dust off the briefcase knowing I dared to dream and for me that will be enough.
Hi John, You do know that Top Ramen is bad for you, right? Didn't you see that viral video that was going around a few days ago? :) It really is tasty though and I wish I could eat it everyday. Boy oh boy, you have a year and half to crank out some fierce writing! I wish you lots of luck and hope your briefcase stays dusty.
Thank for the well wishes and hope to read you in the first Hybrid publication.
Hi Jana. The BMI checks are from some of my live performances. It's a brand new area BMI has moved into and it's helpful. As long as you have your songs registered with them you can receive some dough. Making the 'big bucks' has always been elusive for me but as long as the bills get payed I guess it's all OK.
I have a MLIS in Library Science but I do odd jobs to pay the bills because library jobs are scarce. If I were to turn back time I would have gotten my masters in Creative Writing since I would have had the same jobless outcome and could have spent those two years writing.
Why don't you go back now? But I don't you think you need it- I like the rawness and urgency of your writing. But being in school certainly helps one focus and it's good for getting feedback. I kinda miss it...mostly I miss the smell of the art department.
Thanks Jana! I feel this in your writing also. I think the thing I miss about studying literature and creative writing in school (I did it for my undergrad) Is all the reading and talking about books. I loved when a teacher compiled a reader of inspiring writing from amazing authors. I know I can immerse myself in literature without school but I enjoyed the process of reading and discussing with a room full of other turned on minds.
My wife's a psych prof. and I'm a stay-at-home dad -- we've got twin boys who will be 2 years old in another month. Talk about a change in my writing routine!
I love that you are a stay at home dad of TWO 2 years olds. I look forward to reading some of your work and thanks for responding to the thread.
I worked for years in IT after getting my MFA, then quit my job a couple of years ago to focus on my fiction writing and blog. These days I support myself by selling advertising on my blog, doing public speaking about new media especially where it intersects with the arts, and taking the occasional freelance gig (either writing or IT).
I'd like to check out your blog, what is it called? Thanks for your response.
I work part time at Curves, the gym for women who hate gyms. The pay is terrible, but as a job, it works for me. I teach women how to use hydraulic weightlifting equipment. I live very frugally and write lots.
Jean- I know who you are and I want to join the Curves you work at. I am very excited to see you on here and can't wait to read your work.
Hi Jana. Thanks for the lovely welcome. I was wondering if you'd know me. The Curves is in Vancouver, otherwise I'd encourage you to join (you're in Seattle, right?). Ah yes, the fabulous writerly conversations we could have. And... I know who you are too!! I'm just finding my way around after keeping an eye on the site for a long time. Yesterday I posted most of a nearly complete novel -- The Black Dot Museum of Political Art. Revising the last two chapters now. Like, right now.
Jean Smith knows who I am- BIG smile. You are a person who inspires me to stay true to who I am artistically. It's dog eat dog out here and I feel enormously comforted knowing that there are still conscientious artists in the world who don't compromise their vision. Your book is on my 'get to asap' list. I love your self portrait series by the way.
I work full-time for an engineering company doing IT support. Currently I'm the sole breadwinner in my little household, supporting my girlfriend and our toddler son. I'm in about the same boat as you: I want to apply for creative writing workshops and classes, but I'm worried about being able to afford it--in terms of both time and money. Sadly I have to get all my creative work done on the train to and from work. Forty-ish minutes a day feels like just enough rope to hang myself with.
I can't tell you how happy I am to be the person who started this thread. :) I love meeting new people even if it sometimes leads to hair pulling and name calling. (the road to the Ultimate fighting championships is paved with good intentions) It is sooooooo hard to write with a toddler in the house, I feel your pain. Having already raised one to the teenage years, all I can say is it does get easier...way easier.....unless, you go and have another one. I don't recommend doing that. Wouldn't it be cool though if this was an earlier decade where you could just shove your kids out the door with a loaf of bread and say 'Don't show your face til dinner.' Oh well, I think my drive to get somewhere (wherever THAT might be) with writing is not as great as my desire to have happy and loved children, though I do have to remind myself of that quite often. I would definitely take a workshop if I were you- even just one goes a long way. I wish you so much luck! Thanks for chiming in.
Thanks for starting it! It's interesting to see what other people are up to. So often writing is such a solitary thing, it's easy to forgot that you're not the only one going through all of its highs and lows. There will be no siblings for my little Jonas, sadly. Although usually he seems like more than I can handle already! Any other tips for writing with a toddler in the house would be much appreciated, from anyone.
Boy, oh boy. I was teaching high school up to 2008, and decided to take the leap and travel to Louisiana to get my MFA in creative writing. The upside was the full funding, the proximity to New Orleans, the community of creative people in my life, and the time afforded to work on my writing. The downside, the return to California with my wife, back to an economy in contraction, no chance of getting my teaching job back. Thus, I am now a salt miner, working for a temp agency, hired out to a university design & construction department where I file blueprints, archive images, and engage with MS Excel on a daily basis. I have a completed novel that I'm sending to agents, and a growing collection of short fiction based on childhood in Dublin, Ireland, many pieces which are at Fictionaut, and others published in disparate places, either as audio pieces, or regular text. Finding time to write these days is challenging, with a four-week-old girl in the house. Still, whenever I can scratch out a few words, there I go. Everything comes down to being creative with time, understanding that the writing is the thing, and revisiting what Alain de Botton said on TED about work and labor. All best.