Monday, June 16, 2014

Writing full-time

I quit a job in IT 7 years ago to write.  I didn't know what I would write, or what I could write.  I just knew that I liked writing stories, and I knew I would find something to do.

When Puttachi was little, my entire day revolved around her.  If I think back on it, I smile.  They were some of the loveliest months of my life.  But there were periods of intense frustration and desperation - and whenever I snatched a few minutes of the day in which I could write, I told myself that there would come a day when I would be writing full time.  I still didn't know what I wanted to write, but I visualized it again and again, and I liked the thought of it.

The last couple of weeks have been like that.  All of a sudden, I find myself involved in multiple projects - some started on my own, some assignments, some paid, some voluntary, some fiction, some non-fiction, some creative work, some translation, some research, some imagination.   I write from 9 30 to 2 30, and then again for a bit at night after Puttachi goes to bed. 

It is tiring.  It is overwhelming.  And I'm just about managing to keep all these projects in sections of their own in my mind, and attending to them one by one.  There are times when it seems like the barriers between the projects will break and flood my head.  It is a fine balance, but so far, it's working.

It's tough.  I have housework to do, and cooking.  Puttachi comes back from school at 3, and I have her needs to attend to.  And most people don't understand the concept of writing being work.  For them, it is a hobby that I am following, not a profession I'm trying to build.

But yet, so far, it's working.

I know that a couple of months from now, it might not be the same.  And I might lie on my bed and read this post and say "oh for those days!"    But now, I'm doing just what I hoped to do when I decided to say goodbye to IT for good. And that makes me happy.

There's another thing  about me - that I long suspected, but now know to be true.  I need deadlines.  Deadlines not only as in days, but as in time too.  I need that 3 o clock every day before which I have to finish some work before Puttachi gets home. If the day lies open in front of me, empty, inviting, I end up wasting time and seeking distraction in food and FB.  Self-imposed deadlines work, but aren't that effective.  I need to make a commitment to another person, and I'll fall over myself to stick to it. 

I'm looking forward to see how this journey progresses.


Radhika said...

That's wonderful Shruthi! Looking forward to read all your works :-)
Best wishes!

praneshachar said...

lovely to be a full time writer. its always great to see ur committment and passion. whether u take it as a hobby or a work its very true u have to keep deadlines particularly with family and sustain all the requirements of better half and dear puttachi. you are committed for the cause u must become free by 3 pm good target set so that your beloved puttachi's needs are priority after puttachi is home . lovely to read your write ups be it be in blog or a short story or a article in paper all are unique. keep going i wish one day I will read a novel by you and say wow this author is known to me so closely hurrah i can tell my grand children then. keep moving and wish you all the best god bless u Shruthi

PeeVee said...

Yay! Sounds lovely, and like the real beginning of a real, fulfilling career. Hope it continues! :)

Sujata Rajpal said...

I would love to be a full time writer one day. Agree, Self imposed deadlines and commitment to another person really work. Thanks for this post.

austere said...

Wonderful post, Shruthi... am a fan of your short stories... POWER ON and gimme more!

Srividhya Manikandan said...

All the best. :-)

Aarthi said...

You are a self made person and I find you very inspiring. My best wishes to you!

Aarthi said...

You are a self made person and I find you very inspiring. My best wishes to you!

Anil Jagalur said...

I am happy to read this. Happy for you.

A comment on the last paragraph: You are re-stating Parkinson’s Law - "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion". That means when you have unlimited time, work never gets done.

Deadlines also bring in pressure. Pressure has got a bad name since too much of it is bad. So bad that it kills. Research shows that some pressure is NECESSARY for performance. World records are broken during competition, not during training sessions.


Rajlakshmi said...

I am so glad you are getting projects as a full time writer. Like you I need strict deadlines too. Self imposed deadlines just doesn't work on me.

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