If you had the chance to write full-time without any financial pressures, would you – should you – take it?
When one of ALLi's indie author members was offered the opportunity to live rent-free, with enough savings to cover daily living expenses, he asked fellow members to help him decide.
Given the imminent bicentenary of Walden author Henry David Thoreau, perhaps the most famous memoirist about living in isolation, now seemed a good time to share and extend the conversation on our blog.
I hope it will help you decide whether or nor writing full-time would be right for you, should you ever be in the fortunate position of being able to do so, whether by dint of huge books sales or other means. It may even make you ditch any hitherto held ambition to do nothing but write.
I'm sharing our members' comments anonymously to preserve confidentiality, but many thanks to all who took part.
If you'd like to join the conversation when you've read it, feel free to leave a comment – or join ALLi so you can share in live chats like this 24/7 – just one of 21 benefits of being a member of ALLi.
Every Indie Author's Dream?
So, the big question: assuming you're not already writing full-time and living entirely off the income of your self-published books, would you seize the opportunity to write-full time for a year?
ALLi Author Members Reply
- Do it – what an opportunity! If you don't, you'll always regret it.
- It depends on your discipline as a writer. If you have the determination and focus to make the investment of your time and savings work, it's a golden opportunity. But if your discipline is shaky, a year rent-free isn't going to make a difference, and you'll be worse off than when you started.
- Do it, but also keep ten hours of paid work per week to help keep you disciplined and give yourself some pocket money
- Do it, but only if you have a precise work schedule with clear goals to work towards – then hold yourself accountable, either by keeping a journal or having an accountability buddy. A year sounds like a long time but you will be surprised how quickly it can disappear as you will always seem to have another day.
- Do it, but include time away from the keyboard.
- Do it, and turn the experience into another book, My Year of Writing Rent-Free.
- Do it, but keep changing where you work in the house so that you don't get bored.
- Only do it if the location is right – not too isolated from friends and family, in a setting conducive to writing, in a place that will suit your personality and keep you motivated rather than messing with your head.
- Proceed with caution – more time doesn't necessarily equal greater productivity.
- Do it – but have an escape plan up your sleeve.
Last Word to the Devil's Advocate…
Harper Lee did it for To Kill a Mockingbird – and we all know what that did for her productivity after the year was over…
OVER TO YOU What would you do in this position? Do you already write full time so can offer insights from a different perspective? Join the conversation!#Authors, if you had the chance to write full-time, rent-free, would you take it? Lively discussion here... Click To Tweet