I woke up to lots of good news on Wednesday. A membership organisation for which I hope to do a monthly magazine asked for a meeting for Friday. It was a quick response to an application I made the day before. Their offices are near my house, the job is interesting and within my skills set and it would be steady work, which would mean I could scale down a bit on the marketing and focus more on the actual writing. I really do hope I get the gig - wish me luck.
I also had a new client asking me to take on an urgent assignment, a regular client had also sent work overnight. I need to finish 3 short articles to submit by the 20th. And I still have my daily client website updates to do.
So I'm working until late tonight so I can get as much work done as possible, as I never even managed to touch a whole pile of admin (service provider forms for a client and publishing grant application) I need to do. Ja, I could do with some rest - and wish I didn't have to work late today - but I'm also grateful for the work.
I also got an email from an old friend asking me about a career as an author. Her 20-year old son doesn't want to do anything but be an author, and she wanted some advice because she's not confident that being an author is a reliable source of income. She supports her son's career choice 300% in theory, but authors also need a roof over their heads, need to eat, wear clothing, drive cars etc. and she wants to encourage him to get some backup training. Maybe get a diploma in graphic design or something ( he was tested and said to have an aptitude for that).
Her son sounds like me, back when I was young and wanted to be an author. I had an aptitude for science ( did a Bachelor of Science degree), but I didn't want to do anything but write stories. With age, I learnt that I have to take on writing work that's not necessarily creative because it pays me better. I also learnt that being a writer needs a business mindset. Sure, there's the creative aspect of it ( and I wish I was able to spend more time doing that), but like I have mentioned quite a lot here, there is also a big marketing and admnistrative element to it.
So I invited mother and son to the next meeting of my local writing group - so she can meet professional and aspirant writers and learn about how they are making their writing careers work. One of the members is in his early twenties, and I'm also hoping that they will hook up, support each other etc, because they're likely to have face similar issues in their writing careers.
Question: what advice would you give a young man/woman who wants to be a fulltime author and nothing else but an author?