1. sjsmitheyman
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    sjsmitheyman New Member

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    Hi all and...help??!

    Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by sjsmitheyman, Sep 4, 2012.

    Hello,

    I'm so glad I've found this board - just what I've been looking for!! My question(s)...

    I'm currently teaching part time while looking after my young children. I'm finding the teaching job increasingly stressful. (As I'm sure anyone who reads the newspapers in the UK will appreciate, there is a LOT of pressure on teachers at the moment - and "part-time" doesn't seem to mean part time!) I like teaching but I seem to have lost a bit of zest and confidence.

    So...
    I would love to give up the job and concentrate on bringing up the children and writing. I can dedicate more time to writing and hopefully make some money from it as the kids get older.

    I've been writing for about a year, posted work on free boards (e.g. fictionpress) and taken a short creative writing course. I have a reasonable standard of English and have received good feedback so far. I know where I need to improve, but the main issue is TIME...every evening is taken up with schoolwork! I feel like I'm stuck in a rut - I can't improve without dedicating time to my writing, yet never seem to have any time...:(

    My husband has a fairly well paid job (so we won't be on the breadline if it all goes wrong!) When the kids start school, I'm sure I could also pick up casual/supply work.

    I suppose my question is "How realistic is this plan? Is it possible to make a decent living from fiction writing?"

    Thank you for reading this far. I would be grateful for any replies/suggestions.

    S J Smitheyman

    PS I apologise if the above post isn't terribly articulate - it's 5.50 at the moment (can't sleep!)
     
  2. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Welcome to Writing Forums, sjsmitheyman!

    I hope you find what you're looking for here, whatever your interests in writing.

    This forum aims to provide the best workshopping resources on the internet, and to that end we have a few rules which you should familiarise yourself with before you get stuck in. The main section of the site is the Writing Workshop, where members can post their writing in order to receive critique of their work.

    However, before we allow members to post their work, they must have met some basic requirments. Firstly, you must have been a member for fourteen days, and have made twenty posts on the forum overall (please note, posts in Word Games do not count towards this). This is so that members, when they post their work, have familiarised themselves with the forums and contributed to them (as well as hopefully learned something for themselves). Secondly, members must provide two constructive reviews of other people's work for each piece of their own that they wish to post. This is because we believe that the focus of workshopping should be equally upon giving reviews as receiving them, as they allow a writer to practice and improve their editing skills, which they can then apply to their own writing.

    Beyond the Writing Workshop, you will find that we have extensive forums for discussion of aspects of writing, as well as a community area for general discussion. We also run periodic short story and poetry contests, which are good for challenging yourself and expanding your skills.

    If you have any questions or problems, then the moderators (myself, Cogito, Lemex and Dante Dases) should be your first port of call. Any technical problems with the site itself should be directed to Daniel, the site administrator and owner. I would recommend you have a look over the rules so that you know what to expect, and what is expected. But aside from that, I hope you enjoy your time here.


    Banzai
     
  3. maidahl
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    maidahl Banned

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    This is a very cool introduction. Sup
     
  4. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If as you say, your husband can support the family reasonably well (think about it, mortgage, car and petrol and road tax, TV license, food and travel, clothes for the kids, family weekends away, your kids' friends come over and you're treating everyone to an ice-cream, there's a cool new toy you wanna get your kid... Kids take up a loooot of money) - so, if you're without a job and still you can afford most things, cut back a little but more or less still live comfortably, then.....

    I'd ask your husband. It doesn't matter what we think on here. Ask your husband - is he supportive? It makes a world of difference. If he's encouraging, and he doesn't mind having to cut back on some things due to a decreased income, then I say go for it. See what he says, because he needs to be comfortable with it.

    If however your husband prefers you to bring in some form of cash, regardless of what you do, maybe you should look for a part-time office job, or maybe a teaching assistant job. It means less pay, but it's still some pay, which would fulfil the finances, but it means no more lesson planning and no more ridiculous amount of overtime marking and preparing lessons (either because in an office job, it's not teaching related or because as an assistant, it's not you who needs to do this kinda work).

    Work out how this will affect your marriage and your children, and if your working doesn't affect either your marriage or your children, then I see no reason why you shouldn't quit your job.
     
  5. auntiebetty
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    auntiebetty Active Member

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    Hi:

    Welcome.
    I was in your spot once. What I can tell you is that everyday when you have coffee or when you have fifteen minutes to yourself, just sit with your computer or a notebook--give yourself a fifteen minute writing assignment. One week it can be writing character descriptions. The next week it can be writing a scene for the characters. The next week you can give them some dialogue. Just keep doing those exercises. Post them on the forum here and see what people say
     
  6. Patrick Bade
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    Patrick Bade New Member

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    Welcome!

    The first question that comes to my mind when I read your introduction is 'are you aware of the difficulty it means to actually make money out of your writing?'. The foremost priority should be to ensure your kids to grow up as best as possible, without financial problems and such. It's not only a matter of how much income there is due to your husband's job, but also a matter of how safe his workplace really is. Giving up on your personal income means relying completely on one person (your husband); you should not think that it is possible to earn money by writing that fast and easily. Be aware of the fact that you have to finish a work to begin with, so it could take a lot of time until you get actually paid.

    That said, talk with your husband and see what his opinion is in this matter. Find out how well established he is in his position, how high the risk is for him to lose his job... if the support you have is trustworthy enough, you should give it a shot. But first, use whatever you can to get as much feedback as possible in order to evaluate your chances in becoming a professional writer.

    I wish you the best of luck so far.
     
  7. sjsmitheyman
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    sjsmitheyman New Member

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    Thank you!

    auntiebetty - I love the 15-minute idea! My method has been to write in the evenings (after schoolwork) - it isn't really working!! But 15 minutes sounds much more manageable!

    I shoud clairfy my position...my husband is a deputy headteacher at a large secondary school (not the one I teach in!) He enjoys his job and is very well respected within the school. It seems my salary is mainly used to pay childcare bills - therefore we wouldn't notice a huge drop in income.

    I will give it some thought (and discuss with hubby!)

    Thank you again for your replies!
     
  8. maidahl
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    maidahl Banned

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    BAH. HA. HAHA.

    I love the dear advice in this thread. Amazes me. Too amazing. Especially Mcckk's.
     
  9. BBBurke
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    BBBurke Member

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    Welcome. I try to avoid offering advice on life decisions and marital matters. But here's some thoughts on writing.

    When you can't write, try to think. Think out a scene or plot point. This can be done in as little as one minute. That way when you sit down to write you can type away and use that time more productively.

    Carry a little notebook or recorder with you so you can record these thoughts or ideas. Nothing worse than a major breakthrough that you can't remember later that night.

    Routine. I know it's really hard with family and work commitments, but if you get into a pattern it can really help you write consistently. Try to set aside specific time each day to write.

    Hope that helps. Good luck.
     

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