Who is a Stay-At-Home Writer?

For many writers that is the goal–unlimited time to stay at home and write, free from financial distractions that cause one to have to divide their time and interests. For most writers, families are okay as a distraction, or at least tolerable. There are some distractions that we accept.

But having to support a household, a good eight hours or more a day, then commuting, plus the time it takes to get your head into a writing space and out of the everyday world is almost unbearable. In the end, the job often becomes the nemesis of writing.

It’s something I fight frequently. I know my best writing time, but that’s usually also my best catchup time. Freeing my mind from daily clutter to settle into writing is a constant challenge. I often think if I didn’t have to hold down a full-time job, I would have plenty of time to write.

So the question is, do you actually write when you have writing time? Or do you put it off thinking you have plenty of time so you’ll do a few other odds and ends first? Take a run, play golf, watch TV, read a book, call a friend, run to the story, bake cookies, plan a schedule.

I have two major time wasters: TV and organizing. If I cut back on both I’d have a lot more time to write. I find the days I have at home that I actually watch more TV and spend more time organizing, not really writing.

So how do you do it? If you are a stay-at-home-writer, how do you avoid the pitfalls? If you work full-time, how do you carve out writing time? How do you determine what you do to be a writer?

It turns out there are many writers who continue to work at another job even after their writing affords them financial freedom. There’s an interesting article in The Atlantic today on just this topic. Deciding that what it takes to be a writer doesn’t mean staying at home–it means writing and a state of being, not just doing.

So what are you being?


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. taureanw
    Nov 29, 2011 @ 19:25:33

    Free from financial distractions would be nice!! 🙂
    I couldn’t be a stay-@-home writer because I wouldn’t get any inspiration. I usually get my muse moments in the middle of the day interacting with different people or going to new places.


  2. 3by3 writing method
    Nov 29, 2011 @ 19:58:29

    im up at 6 before everyone else and have half an hour to get coffee, write a few pages and get a blog out. after that the world finds me and its over


  3. dante668
    Nov 29, 2011 @ 20:28:58

    I feel your pain. I work full-time, and when I get home often my brain is too tired to write. I generally manage to get in a few bites here and there, but when I’ve got a good head of steam built up it hardly seems enough. If I really try I can generally get in an hour or so of writing a day, on average.


  4. L.Becker
    Dec 02, 2011 @ 15:32:07

    I work 12 hour shifts, three days a week and I have a very busy 20 month old. I find “stolen” time to pre-write. Most of it is done in my head, on the “dreadmill” at the gym, on my lunch break at work, walking to and from work. I often write down something I am chewing on such as “what is the backstory” and put it in my pocket at work. It keeps it present that I have another focus other than the usual work gossip. Plus it helps keep my dream alive and tangible. When ideas come to me, I write them down. When I get a chance to actually write, it feels more coherent and directed since I have been stewing it over for some time. When I feel down, I think of a story I heard about an African marrathon runner who ran hundreds of miles a week- barefoot. He didn’t own a pair of shoes, but that didn’t stop him! That keeps me humble.


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