Managing writing and a full-time job with R. J. Thompson

A common excuse I hear from people is that they don’t have enough time. Why haven’t you finished writing your book yet? I don’t have enough time. That is one of the lamest excuses. Yes, we have jobs and family and other things that take up our time, but if writing is your passion then it should become a priority. Make time to write.

R.J. Thompson reached out to me as an aspiring author who also manages a full-time job. Here’s what he had to say:

Tell me about yourself and what you write

My name is R.J. Thompson. I have been married for 15 years and live in the Toronto GTA thompson profilearea. For most of my working career I’ve worked in sales, but lately have really grown bored of that kind of work. I used to write poems, lyrics, and children’s books while in high school and university. I abandoned writing altogether until 2014, after going back to university to finish my B.A. in English Lit.

What does your writing schedule look like while working a full-time job?

I fit time in to write mostly on weekends, but now have included weeknights after work. I usually put in 2 hours of writing but will ramp up more time as I have many ideas for novels. I’m currently rewriting a YA Fantasy novel. I have a YA Sci Fi novellette I need to expand to novella size. Also, two other novels, one a Sci-Fi and the other a Satire Ive begun their first drafts. A few more books are in the planning stages including an anti war drama. I am interested in different genres like: Sci F, Fantasy, Dystopia, War Drama, Satire, and Social Problem. I have sent my YA Fantasy to publishers after writing the first draft not realizing the amount of polishing needed. I did get an acceptance and offer from one publisher but I turned it down for two reasons. One, they wanted me to pay for their service like website creation and monitoring, publishing party, marketing, edit and correction…basically wanted to rewrite my first draft and make a killing of services rather than book sales. I was naïve at the time but now know to rewrite to near perfection, and avoid publishers that expect you to pay them rather than they pay you. The company also insisted I write only in one genre.

What steps have you taken to gain an audience/look for a publisher?

The only audience i’ve tried to gain so far is through twitter and facebook by posting snippets of my work. My profile also states “seeking publisher.”

So whether you’re in school or working a full-time job, try to find at least an hour a day to write. It also helps to set a daily word count. I typically shoot for 1,000 words a day, which equals 45 minutes on a good day or an hour and a half on a creatively-challenged day. You’ll be blown away by how much progress you’ll make. As they say, slow and steady wins the race!


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