The Part-Time Writer with Full-Time Obligations (and Material)

I seriously thought about retirement last year and anticipated, envisioned even planned for September 2012.  My husband and I had lengthy discussions, even announced the news to the boys and family.  Well, things change. 

I read an article today in the April edition of "The Writer" magazine; "Why I don't want to quit my day job" by Jacob M. Appel, an instructor at Gotham Writers' Workshop in New York City.  He also happens to be a full-time practicing physician at Mount Sinai Hospital. 

This article parallels many of my thoughts as I second guess my decision to leave my career as a police lieutenant and possibly teach, workout, finish various home projects, WRITE and be there for my kids at every turn.  Then I honestly began thinking, when I am done with those projects, tired of teaching, waiting for my kids to get off the bus (and quite possibly heading directly to their friend's house down the street leaving me standing waving "see ya"), I would WRITE!!! Of course!!! 

About------  well, house projects I have completed, the various aerobics classes I have taken, teaching security-police-rules of evidence type classes and saying hello and then goodbye to my boys as they head off to spend time with someone besides mom.  Not very interesting material to form and mold into a readable much less enjoyable story. 

I have a very vivid imagination however science fiction is not my cup of tea.  Therefore I get most of my material from actual events (non-fiction) experienced or witnessed in police work or stories I fictionalize from real life.  That is also why I believe in the position taken in this literary article by Jacob Appel where he states, "A writer's non-writing professional life often provides an excellent source of material that she knows well....."  I also believe life experience can also parlay into great "story".  So for those without a saucy work life to draw ideas, at least with a tenured life (notice the carefully chosen word, tenured) on this earth you would have experienced ample amount of "life" and relationships to garner worthwhile story telling. 

So, for now there are no plans to retire.  Those plans have been tabled for several reasons, writing being only a personal one. 

So to all those Part-Time Writers with Full-Time Obligations (ahem.....) Material,

April 8: Our deadline to have character, plot, POV anything you wish to share for the competition!! 


Dawn Brazil said...

We can all relate Adrian. Life has a way of getting in the way of writing but we must live. But sometimes, like in your case, your other life (work) adds depth to your writing. Don't you just hate that. :)

Adrian said...

Thanks Dawn! Yes, lots of material.. Wonderful! ha..

Julie said...

I read Jacob Appel's article and thought it was a good one too! And I'm a little stressed as April 8 is very close and I still don't have a clue about my story. I feel like I'm in school and staying up all night to finish a paper! ;)

Adrian said...

Divine inspiration shall come upon you any moment, I just know it! I know, this deadline thing is what keeps me going!

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I figured things out late in life, like what I wanted to do, getting married (age 30), having kids, (36 and 38) and changing degrees about 3 times. Now as a cop of 19 years and in my mid 40's, I am finally figuring out some things. My first career or dream of becoming a writer is playing more in my head and daily life than ever. I love it. Thus the blog. It is all mine. I also love being a mother. They are all ours. I love my husband and as a cop, wow.. have I seen some things. Street degree. I got it. Let us learn together. I also am on She Writes.