Rhonda Frankhouser On Writing Full-Time By Stacy Hoff

Hello Passionate readers! Today on Nights of Passion I have Rhonda Frankhouser  talking about being a full-time author.

What’s it really mean to be a Full-Time Writer?

To a person driven by the written word, being able to write full time sounds like a dream come true. I know it did to me. I prayed for the day I would finally be able to give up that dreaded day job that sapped nearly every creative flicker from my brain to pursue writing as a career. And then that day came.

I was beside myself with excitement. If I could put out two novels a year as a part time writer, then I should easily crank out five, maybe ten best sellers a year writing full time. Yeah – well. What I found when I stepped into the world of whatever I wanted to do was a complete lack of organization.  I’ve always thrived under a strict schedule. Eat, sleep, work, write, shower, eat and sleep again. Once I could mix those elements up as I saw fit, I found my schedule looking more like eat, eat, sleep, sleep, walk around and move things around, eat, think about writing, then eat and sleep again.

I knew I was floundering but I gave myself a little break, saying after fifteen years of non-stop occupational stress, I should be able to fiddle around a little. Drink three cups of coffee into the afternoon. Hang out in my pajamas until an hour before my husband was due home. And then I looked at the scale and the mirror and said, ‘you need structure sister or you’re never gonna make a go of this full time writer thing.’

The truth was I felt less significant not bringing in a regular income. Guilty that I’d given up a lucrative career to pursue a dream, I couldn’t help but think that I wasn’t contributing like I should. It wasn’t expected that I make money writing right away, as long as I was working at a ‘real job,’ bringing in ‘real’ money. I admit it – I put the pressure on myself. My family and friends didn’t think less of me, rather they thought I was brave and adventurous. It was all me.

I turned the corner when my husband and I moved from California to Georgia. No one knew me there. No one knew I’d worked in hospice care or that I had a whole life built around that profession back in California. I forced myself to say, hello, I’m Rhonda Frankhouser and I’m an author, when new people would introduce themselves. To my great surprise, I was met with amazement and envy. “Oh how can you write a book, it’s so hard? I have lots of ideas but there’s no way I could ever get it all organized in my head and down on paper.”

Over and over, different variations of that conversation. I started to swell with pride at my new profession. They were right – writing IS hard work and it IS a gift not everyone gets. Being a full time author is a something to be proud of – even if the money isn’t flowing in – yet. So I had one side of my subconscious satisfied, but that still didn’t make me organized. That I had to do on my own.

So – I started putting together a goal sheet that lined out what I wanted to accomplish daily, weekly, monthly and annually. I’m sure other authors out there all know this secret, but it was a new concept to me for this side of my world. It was a loose structure to be sure, but a structured schedule all the same. It helped me make writing my ‘job’ rather than just my passion. I opened a bank account for my writing business and set up a separate email, webpage, Facebook page, Twitter, etc. that was all business all the time. For Rhonda – the published author.

It helped. It made me rethink my impression of myself as a professional writer. Once that happened I started taking myself and my craft more seriously.

Have I made a million bucks or sold a zillion copies of my books yet? No, but as my very wise father always used to say, if you stuff the pipe with all your efforts, blood, sweat and tears, sooner or later good things will start coming out the other end. All I can do is trust his word, and continue to love writing.

Rhonda Frankhouser’s links

website: www.rhondafrankhouserbooks.com

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/RhondaFrankhouser/

Twitter:@RJFrankhouser

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