Saturday, June 8, 2013

Summer vacation forever

WIFYR is one week away. Can’t wait. There are still a few open spots.

I just quit my day job.

Writing for a lot of people is a hobby. We have lives with numerous demands on our time. Little time is let for such a pastime.

Before I became a writer, I was a teacher. Many a June has welcomed the refreshing break from the hectic pace of working with thirty little people not necessarily interested in their learning. I’m not sure how I got into the profession, but summer vacation is the reason I stayed. How people in the real world manage without three months off is beyond me.

I did not quit the job to write, though I hope to spend more time on it. I didn’t give it up because my writing career is so lucrative. I did not quit because I believe the next J.K. Rowling success story is sitting on my hard drive (which, of course, it is). After thirty-six years, the time has come.

This summer vacation will be different. I won’t feel like I need to fit everything in. I shouldn’t have that looming presence that comes the first of August. When my teacher friends go back to school, I know their anguish, but will not feel it this year.

Retirement is summer vacation forever. Even in the cold of winter, it will be summer vacation.

Now comes the question of how much to write. I want to put in good solid writing time, daily. The story doesn’t get written without time at a keyboard. Yet things have been piling up around here waiting to be dealt with at retirement. And my Words with Friends app keeps telling me it’s my move. Not having a job doesn’t mean free time.

Before he quit his day job, writing was a hobby to Brandon Mull. Now he treats it like a full-time job. He he goes to work everyday though the commute is a short walk through the house to his office. He spends eight hours a day at his writing job. Stephen King sets aside time six days a week, holidays included. He writes ten pages a day, which works out to be about a thousand words.

That is a lofty goal, though I imagined an easier pace. I can muster two to four hours a day dedicated to writing. I wonder if after nine months writing, they give you summer vacation for that?

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