I’m so happy to be partnering with Avon books to bring you this guest post on how writer Claire Allan, author of Her Name Was Rose handles the ups and downs of being a writer. So without further ado…
Two years ago I decided to take a massive leap of faith and become a full time writer.
Having combined a career in journalism with writing for ten years, and working full time for seven of those years, I imagined it would be idyllic.
I’d be able to get up in the morning, kiss my children goodbye as they left for school and then I would sit down at my desk and write until home time.
My evenings would not be spent trying to write a few chapters while making the dinner, or checking the homework or simply trying to stay away.
It would be nothing short of blissful!
But if there is anything I’ve learned in the last two years it is that writing full time requires a level of discipline I’m trying very hard to find, as well as the ability to resist distractions.
And in a writers’ own home, there are always distractions! My house is no exception. There’s a dog to be walked every morning for example. Then the breakfast dishes to clear away. The washing to be done. A quick brush or hoover around the floors. Maybe the bathroom needs a clean. The beds may need changed. My mother may suggest going out for a coffee. I may be distracted by a need to visit my very cute nephews. Or Homes Under the Hammer might be particularly appealing.
And then, of course, there’s always the decadent desire to nap. (I say it’s decadent, but as someone who suffers from Fibromyalgia, fatigue can be a real distraction and, joking aside, there are days when I simply have to sleep.).
So finding the focus to write can be difficult.
I’ve started turning off my WIFI while I write. That way I can’t nip in and out of Twitter all day.
I promise myself little rewards if I write for an hour, or hit a certain word count. Those awards might be to read for a bit, or go for a quick walk or watch a much loved TV show. (Or eat some biscuits).
And I do, despite my initial intentions, still find myself writing in the evenings. It seems breaking a 10 year habit is hard and my brain switches into creative mode about 7.30 each evening anyway.
Writing full time is also a bit of a misnomer, because being a full time writer involves much more than just writing. There may be emails to catch up on. Phone calls to have with someone from my publishing company. Social media posts to write and make live. Edits to do. A proof copy of someone else’s book to read. A wander into the deep and sometimes scary world of book reviews.
It is busier than I ever imagined it could be.
But I can’t and won’t complain. This remains my dream job. It is exhilarating and fulfilling and yes, at times, it is very hard work but it is so rewarding that it’s well worth missing Homes Under The Hammer for.