Friday, October 24, 2008

The End of the Inkpot Files???

Despite my recent successes at publication I am not yet making a living out of writing. I know this will come as a surprise to you, but it is the sad truth. Perhaps if I could live on a handful of grain a day and never leave my den I would be ok, but unfortunately I can't. My family have been very supportive and I thank them for helping me out in so many ways. However, it has come to the stage where I can no longer make ends meet and it kills me to ask for handouts all the time. I know I am a sponge, but I don't like to be reminded of it daily. So I have come to the realisation that I must now go looking for a nine to five job. It makes me feel such a failure. I wanted to give this a chance for five years and I'm only a little over two. I've done part time work before to help keep me going, but doing bits here and there isn't going to cut it any more. I feel such a failure. I feel I am turning my back on everything I have spent the last two years working on. I feel I am taking huge steps backwards in my life and I hate it. If this was a sound file rather than text I would be screaming at this stage. It isn't the fact that I have to look for a job that ties knots of frustration and dread in my stomach. It's more the fact that earlier this year I thought I would be well on the road by now. Not rolling in money, but broadening my horizons and doing what I loved. Instead it is like I have entered a time warp and gone back eight years, except with more financial commitments. I can't believe I have done this to myself. Scrolling through lists of jobs on the Internet - most of them denied to me because of my lack of experience and qualifications - is like digging the grave for my last shred of hope. Of course I can write and work nine to five at the same time. Everyone must make money to make ends meet. I just can't get over the enormous pit of despair I've dug for myself at the thought of writing not being my 'job' anymore.


Valpot said...

Writing is your job, Inkpot - you are a writer! And you are to stick to the five year plan - look at Dean Koontz!! You must stick to the plan.

Getting published, and making money from it is a long slow process, ask any successful writer. I'm sure they all went through times of feeling hopeless, and felt like chucking it in, but they didn't. Yes, your plans had a setback this year, but it's only a setback (will make your autobiography all the more fascinating!)that's all.
Remember in the past twelve months, you've both been on tv and got published (paid for some as well). I think that's a good milestone to have on a 5 year plan. In the next 12 months, you should plan to have your book ready (though I would continue with the occasional piece of short fiction, good for the CV). I fully expect by year 5 you will be able to live on your writing income (and perhaps very extravagently).
Consider part-time work by all means, preferably in a related field.
I think you need a project manager (and I happen to know one that's available...)

Valinora Troy said...

By the way, I think you have achieved loads in the last 10 years, way more than I did (in fact, than I have at my age now!)

FeeDee said...

I just came across your comment by chance, and I wanted to send you a few words of encouragement. I work nine to five in an uninspiring job and write in the evenings, weekends, lunch-hours and whenever I can. I have two children too. Let me tell you that it is possible, and that there are people everywhere in the same position. I've entered a book for the Times / Chicken House story competition, knowing that there are thousands of others doing the same - but if you love the actual process of writing as much as I do - getting to know your characters, watching your plot develop, getting lost in the writing every day, it doesn't really matter whether you're being paid huge sums of money for it. More than anything, I'd love to be a published author, but I thank God every day for what I HAVE got, and try to accept that if it's meant to be, one day I'll have a book published too. It sounds as if you've already crossed that bridge - don't let the lean times discourage you. Earn some money, keep writing and be patient. You're young and the future is bright! Take heart and don't give up. God bless.

Anonymous said...

When I was your age, I had given up on writing, was in a job I hated (and didn't do very well), was paid very badly for it, had an extremely unpleasant boss, hated - and avoided - meeting my friends from college when they were home because I was so ashamed of my menial job, stood out like a sore thumb against my successful siblings, and felt terrible about myself (and had done for two years and more at this stage).
It took another two years before I got a lucky break and got a more interesting job (still badly paid) which I did for 3 or 4 years before I got paid properly for it. It was only then (with a lot of help) that I started writing again, and years later before I got anything published.
My point here is meant to be that things can look dark and hopeless at times but they do change, the future is not set (but I don't know tech stuff).
So be confident about the future, it can only get better.

Anonymous said...

Really inspiring replies here which i totally agree with. Keep at it - perseverance brings hope.

Malice Blackheart said...

Wow, I gotta say I know exactly what you mean. I also feel like I've fallen into a time warp, except in my case it's ten years. I'm literally right back where I started ten years ago: in first year, at uni.

I don't think getting a 9-5 job is giving up. Nobody says you have to stop writing, and I bet you anything you'll never stop dreaming. A new job may even inspire new ideas.

Inkpot said...

Thanks Valpot. Tell that project manager she's hired!

Thanks for the words of encouragement Feedee. Good luck with the chicken house competition. Please drop by again and let me know how u get on.

That is a tale of woe anon 1. I hope u r writing fervantly and successfully now.

True anon 2.

That is scary Mal. Time warps are not good things but I hope that they turn out fruitful for both of us even though they don't seem it at the mo.