I have a substantial amount of hobbies in addition to writing. I like to play the guitar, to ski, to travel, to learn about cultures and languages, drawing comics—the list goes on and on. And even amidst all that, I make time for a social life too. Some of us may be in a position where we think, I’ll have a social life after I’m published. Or maybe there are those of us wishing we could somehow get out of family and social obligations to write.
I’ve heard some authors say at writers conferences it’s okay to neglect family for the sake of writing. You can always make it up to them, they say. But I’m of the mind that no success outside of the home makes up for failure in the home. That’s why this quote appealed to me so much, from David Brin:
If you have other things in your life—family, friends, good productive day work—these can interact with your writing and the sum will be all the richer.
Sometimes those things we think are interfering with our writing are actually enriching our writing. Being a parent, a friend, a co-worker, etc. can and usually does feed our inspiration. Sometimes I also wonder whether or not it would be a good thing to only do writing full time. It seems like you gain experiences working the day job that you may not gain any other place.
And speaking of David Brin, he’s got some fabulous advice for writers on his site. I’ll admit, I haven’t read any David Brin. Sounds like I need to. One line I really like from his advice was: If you really are a writer, you will write! Nothing can stop you. How right he is.
Do you believe your relationships, whether at work, home or with friends influences your writing? Were you able, would you only write full time? Have you read David Brin? Would you recommend his books? Do you agree that if you’re really a writer, nothing can stop you? Let us know below.
15 thoughts on “Monday’s Writerly Quote”
I agree with his quote, quite a bit. With writing you draw upon person experiences and friends, family and coworkers/colleagues all get wrapped up in it. Should always make time for family. David Brin’s books look familiar but I don’t think I’ve read them.
I thought the same thing about Brin’s books. Well, if you read any before I do, be sure to post a review.
Everything we experience affects us… and so everything we experience affects and impacts on our writing, whether that’s overtly or not, or consciously or not. I think it’s difficult to argue against that and it’s something I firmly believe.
The part about whether you need to shut out other parts of your life to be able ‘create’ is difficult. I’m absolutely against this. If I’m happy and relaxed in other areas of my life then I write better and I write more. I also believe two other things in relation to family in particular: firstly that you shouldn’t have a family if you can’t commit to spending time with them and secondly, if your family love and support you then you will all find ways of making time for your writing.
Great comment! I think it’s perfectly reasonable to ask family for a certain amount of undisturbed time. Then when it’s time to spend time with them, be with them 100%. Just seems like a good balance to me.
I’d love to write full-time when both kids are in school. That would still make me a full-time mom, though. 🙂
As for that last thing… Depression can make you stop writing. It’s like a plug in your spirit and creativity. Complete and chronic exhaustion does the same. But other life circumstances… Though there are exceptions, I agree with whoever said that if you want to do it nothing will stop you, and if you don’t you’ll always find an excuse.
I know this is true, because nothing can stop me from writing, but there’s always an excuse when it’s time to do housework. 😉
Hahaha. I’ve never met anyone who can’t find an excuse not to do housework. 😉
I agree with the quote. Everything I do and everyone I know has some level of influence on my writing. Whether it be an odd conversation or seeing something unexpected while I’m outside, it can spark an idea. I’m trying to do the full-time writing now because I just can’t bring myself to work at the whim of someone else again. It never went well.
But it sounds like you’re still engaged with life and not solely writing. Sounds like you’re still keeping things in balance and not ONLY doing writing.
Sort of. I probably spend more time writing than doing anything else these days. It’ll probably change as time goes on and I lock down the writing career. For now, I feel like I have to keep pushing the published book and working on the future ones. That sounds like how it would go for all self-employed jobs. You have to work toward that point where you can comfortably walk away for a day or two.
Yep. Most self-employed entrepreneurs I’ve talked to said 60-80 hours work weeks is normal. And they laugh when you ask when they had a day off. But they’re living their dream. 😀
Today, I talked to my friend who runs his own business to get his opinion on what I should do with my first check when it arrives. The first thing he said was ‘welcome to having a successful business. don’t make plans for the next couple of years.’
Yeah, that’s why I day job in the meantime. I like traveling way too much. 😉 But I applaud those who do go it self-employed. Love the entrepreneurial spirit. 😀
My previous day jobs didn’t let me travel much either, so I didn’t really give anything up by stopping that. Eh, I’m more of a free range human anyway. 🙂
I go back and forth on this. I used to think I’d definitely quit my job if I could and just be a full-time writer, but now I have my own business and I love it, so I’d probably keep working. On the other hand, I like the idea of not being tied down to any one place, so as a full-time writer I could travel all over the place and just write wherever…I guess I’ll see how I’m feeling if I’m ever lucky enough to have full-time writing as an option. 🙂
Maybe you could do your business part of the year and part of the year travel. Why not have the best of both worlds? 🙂