It has been nearly a decade since I quit full time work so I could focus more of my energies into a career in writing. I have learned a lot along the way and thought I would share with you the 5 things that surprised me the most since becoming a writer:
1. No sense of time. Having a very different schedule to most other people who work a 9-5, I don't have the same sense of time passing that other people do. This makes me a bit of a terrible friend because I never realize how long it has been since I've seen people.
2. Comfortable being alone. It is necessary as a writer to spend a lot of time by yourself, and I was surprised at how quickly I adapted to being alone. I never really get lonely. I guess it's hard to with so many voices in my head.
3. Other people's perceptions. Many people like to wax lyrical about how lucky I am to have so much time to write, like I haven't made huge sacrifices in order to be able to do it; like this life just fell into my lap. Those expensive holidays I don't go on? Those beauty products I don't buy? Those clothes I have been wearing for a decade? They were all choices I made to be able to do this thing. Luck had nothing to do with it. Other people like to tell you it's time to 'go and get a real job'. You learn very quickly to ignore those people.
4. Kindness of strangers. Some of my biggest supporters are people I have never met in the flesh. Instagram in particular has a great writing community that spur me and others on. Without them I may well have thrown in the towel long ago.
5. The battle. It's a constant fight to have the time to create. People don't understand what you do and want to take that time away from you. They're not being malicious, they just can't relate. You must be fiercely protective of your writing time. Even after having a child I have refused to give up my scheduled writing hours.
6. The addiction. Writing truly is an addictive activity and I get really antsy if it's been a while since I have written. I cannot imagine a life without being able to put my thoughts and imaginings down on paper. It's the writing life for me and I wouldn't have it any other way!
There were so many other things that surprised me about this life choice of mine, but those were the ones that stood out to me the most. What about you? What has surprised you about writing and/or your chosen passion?