Sure, being a stay at home, full time writer is the best job in the world, but it’s still a job. And you have to treat it like one.
Have set hours when you work. Doesn’t matter when they are–morning, afternoon, the middle of the night. But set that time aside and make it sacrosanct. This is work time. However many hours you can give it, once you’re sitting in front of the computer, you’re at work.
Now, this isn’t easy, I know. Some of us have full time day jobs. Some of us have little kids demanding (and rightfully so), your attention. And some of us (like me), have self discipline issues.
But to create a career out of this business, you have to be able to devote yourself to it. You have to want it more than anything. And you have to fight for it. If you’re lucky enough to be able to stay home and write, you’ll no doubt have family members or neighbors saying “Since you’re home, can you…..” Learn to say ‘no’ and mean it when you have to protect your writing time. If you treat this like a job, everyone else will too.
And remember that this job is like any other in that publishers, editors, agents, expect you to fulfill your contractual obligations. A deadline isn’t a guideline. It’s the time when you’ve agreed to turn in that manuscript. Editors make plans for reading books based on the contract you signed. If you’re a month late, then her schedule takes a hit. And she’s not going to love you for it.
Work hard. Be dependable. And dream Big. In this business, the only one who can slow you down is you.
Maureen Child is the author of more than 100 books and novellas in several different genres. At the moment, she’s making changes to her latest and is about to send it to that editor of hers. On time.