Writing and Self-Employment

For those of you that might not be totally caught up on my life – and I don’t know why you haven’t been following every single detail of my existence – I’m self-employed as of last year.  I started hitting it big in the voiceover world and decided that sitting in an office for 8-10 hours a day just wasn’t worth it anymore.  It’s been a fantastic, incredible experience.  While there are definitely days I miss the high-energy, world-impacting job of being in the military or government service, it was very clear to me that it was time for me to move on.  And so I did.

Now, I am my own boss.  Sure, I have clients with deadlines, but for all intents and purposes, nobody except my wife can tell me what to do. It’s amazing.  Except in the ways that it sucks.

Writing is turning out to be one of them. My novel, DEATH BEAR IN THE SNUGGLE OF DOOM went from concept to THE END in about 3 weeks.  Of course it required some edits as I worked through it with my agent, but it was essentially written in a month, including brainstorming time.  It was also written mostly during down time at work (don’t tell my former bosses).  I don’t know about you, but knocking out an 90,000 word novel while at work in less than a month is pretty damn good.  That means I should be able to write 12 novels a year. Theeeeen I quit my job.  Sweet!  If I can write ONE novel a month with only a couple hours of time, I should be able to write like FOUR novels a month without something annoying like a day job bugging me. 4609129583 No. My more recent novel, MECHANICAL FAILURE, was written in like a billion months.  Okay, so that’s hyperbole, but it was, by no exaggeration at all, the longest time I have ever taken to write a novel, at a point in  my life where I had more “free time” than I ever had before.  I found that even when I was sitting down to write, I wasn’t writing anything.  I went from 5-6 thousand words a day to 500 words a day.  Every word felt like pulling teeth. And in between those words, I felt like I couldn’t concentrate at all.

After all, I had a business to run.  I do consider writing part of my professional trifecta (voice, music, writing) but the big moneymaker is voiceover.  I have to answer emails, build business, hunt new work, keep profiles updated, communicate with agents, hide bodies in the swamp, and other stuff.  And that doesn’t include time spent playing with my daughter, talking with my wife, helping around the house. Even right now, I’ve been staring at this computer screen for way more time than it should be taking me to write a simple blog entry describing a simple problem with a simple solution.  In the time I’ve been writing this, I’ve had conversations with 3 people, looked at a YouTube video from one of my commercials, and sent a tweet to my agent.  I also answered 2 emails from clients, shot a demo to someone, and looked at my LinkedIn profile. Bottom line?  I’ve adjusted poorly to self employment.  Whereas I used to be able to make 2 hours in to 8 by virtue of speed and efficiency, I now take 8 hours and make them into two.

^^ Just to further make my point, it’s been nearly 12 days since I started the draft of this blog post, and only now am I writing this sentence.  Life gets in the way. I mean, yeah, I’ve been really busy with a lot of things that aren’t the “norm,” but it seems like lately I’m letting that become the new norm.  It’s no good.  No good at all.

So it turns out that I suck at being unemployed.  With more time to manage, I manage it worse.  I’ve decided that I need to try and stratify my existence a bit better, give myself a taste of the military lifestyle that I thrived in for so long.  I haven’t yet quite figured out how to do it, but hopefully something will come to me soon.  Otherwise, it’s gonna take me forever to write another book.  Hopefully more to come on this later as I re-unlock my blinding prolificness. Prolifidity?  Proliftitude.  Shit.

2 Comments

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  1. This is one of my fears should I ever have the chance to quit my job and write. I’m just sure I’ll suck at managing myself.

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