Thursday, 20 March 2008

just curious

'Wondering how many, if any, of you write full-time, or have day jobs to pay the bills and feed your families. And, for those of you with day jobs, what are those jobs? Myself, I'm a magazine editor, which helps support my family (four daughters — two of whom are still at home, plus my wife, who makes a great deal more money than I do). Finally, how long did it take you to finish your book(s)? Mine took 30 months, though there was one long stretch of about three months when I didn't write (because of the damn day job...).


drw

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've pretty well retired, Doug, but was writing long before I gave up the day job, and was making a reasonable income with short stories. I can't quanitfy how long it takes me to write a book as I'm very lazy and only do it when I feel like it, or when I'm on a roll. But the second novel probably took about a year. The third is running into difficulties, so I've gone back to the short stories while I take a breather (I have a very good agent for the stories, and she sells them all over the place. I've just sold one to Norway.... Frances
(not anonymous at all, but the 'comments' refuse to take my password).

Len Tyler said...

I have a day job as Chief Executive of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. It keeps me off the streets. The Herring Seller's Apprentice took for ever to write - several drafts over 7 years or so - but there were big gaps during that time when I didn't write anything at all. Reality Check took almost exactly a year (Boxing Day 2006 to New year's Day 2008), but again written in bursts - I rarely have time to write during the week.

Brian McGilloway said...

Hi Doug

I have a day job as Head of English at St Columb's College, a school of 1500 boys in Derry. Borderlands took two years and several drafts, although the first draft as such took three months. Gallows Lane took about six months (again three months of actual writing with gaps in between.) Bleed A River Deep took about four months. I write during my summer holidays, when I have no marking to do and can sit up till two in the morning without having to worry about school in the morning. I would say without having to worry about getting up, but as we have two kids, aged 2 and 4, we're up by 7 am, school or no school anyway!

Tim Stretton said...

Day job: Chief Accountant at West Sussex County Council (so, half bean-counter, half oppressed public servant)

Time to write a book: 4-5 months for a first draft @ 1,000 words a day in the evening; about the same again on redrafts. But like most of the rest of you I don't write all the time. At the moment, for instance, I'm spending so much time deciding what to write next that I'm not actually writing anything...

David Isaak said...

Hi, Doug. I'm a consultant (in the energy business), which means I have long periods of time with no work commitments alternating with long periods of massive overcommitment.

When I'm writing I manage 3-5 pages a day, but that takes me 3-5 hours; I'm a slow first drafter. Toss in work commitments, rewrite time, and other distractions, and I seem to complete about a book a year. Plus several false starts.

Alis said...

Hi Doug - I work part-time (in other words, partly a 'kept' woman!) as a consultant speech and language therapist with autistic teenagers.
Time to write a book - research for the historical bits can take anything from 6-12 months, during which time the pattern of the novel emerges, then anything from a year to two years to get the thing written (in a form I'm happy to send off to anybody - that's second or even third draft). But then i do tend to write long-ish books.

David Isaak said...

Hi, Alis--

Six-twelve months of research? Remind me never to write historicals. Sounds like too much work, and I'm lazy.

Aliya Whiteley said...

I'm a full time mother, so my writing time boils down to the seven hours a week when my Munchie is in creche. I don't really have a time span to write a book. Light Reading took about a year, with a year's break in the middle. Three Things About Me took five months.

Alis said...

Yikes, Aliya, wish I had your productivity levels. What're you going to be like when the Munchie's at school and you have hours every day?

Aliya Whiteley said...

First up, I'm going to try cleaning my house and myself occasionally Alis. Then I'm going to watch Philip and Fern on This Morning and see what all the hype is about.

Doug Worgul said...

Thank you all for your responses and comments. It's fun to get to know you all better. It appears I'm much slower than the rest of you.

drw

Matt Curran said...

Hi, Doug

I work full-time for the UK Government (about 37 hours a week) and write part-time (10 hours a week approx. - which includes weekends). I used to write 3-5 hours a week but got bugger all done (during lunch-breaks at work) - hence why the first draft of The Horde of Mhorrer took a whole year to do.

Within a year or so I'm looking to cut the day-job down to 24 hours a week to concentrate on the writing otherwise most of the forty or so novels I intend to write will be posthumous!

Eliza Graham said...

I am the slowest writer ever. RESTITUTION has taken years to write. The research really slows you down.