#ContactForm1 { display: none ! important; }

Friday, October 19, 2012

Are You A Working Mom?

A friend stopped by Thursday night with fried chicken because I was "looking peckish" the last time she saw me. It was super sweet of her, dinner was nice, and it was great to have another adult to talk to since most my dinner time conversation revolves around Junie B. Jones and the Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I enjoy the occasional break from fine literature to talk about adult things, like cars and kids... I may have failed Adult Subjects 101.

What did spark a conversation was a copy of Working Mom magazine sitting on my counter. My friend frowned at it. "I didn't know you worked."

"Well, yes, I write. It's working from home, but still..." I withered.

"That's just a hobby, isn't it? I mean, you're not writing real books."

Everyone as a group now: SIGH

Of course it's not a real book! Silly me. I only wrote those books, and edited them, and shopped them to editors, and sold them. But it's not on dead paper, so I guess I'm just playing pretend. Once more with feeling: SIGH.

For what it's worth, I consider myself a Working Mom. I've debated the title for years now, and I'm finally at the point where I feel that - yes - I work. I devote six to eight hours a day to writing, promoting, researching, and editing for books. Most weeks I have enough hours to call this a full time job.

Granted, I'm not earning anything like minimum wage yet, but I still earn more than I do with my other full time job, Momming.

I don't know if other authors consider themselves working moms (or dads or non-parents) though. I know many authors write 5-8 hours around a full work schedule. I've met authors who held down jobs, went to university, and still managed to write some how. I didn't write in college, not fiction at any rate, my brain was too fried for anything creative.

And I don't think there's a defined point when you switch from being a "hobby writer" to "working author". I know authors who still consider it a hobby after publishing six books, and I know authors who consider themselves full time working authors without having published ever. I support that idea, it shows a drive and determination. But then again... sometimes there's sense behind seeing writing as a casual hobby. Your world won't crash and burn if you don't meet all your hobby goals. If writing, or anything for that matter, is the be all and end all of your world there's a sense of disproportion and imbalance.

Maybe it doesn't matter what you call yourself as long as your happy?

... Did I have a point to this post? Oh, yes... I was working this week and didn't run from zombies. Two weeks in a row slacking! >.< Sorry. I'm failing Able Township here. I'm writing this post Thursday night with every intention of running on Friday. Feel free to poke me on Twitter. If I'm not writing, I'm hanging with the Tweeps as @LianaBrooks.


  1. I think this perception of it not being a 'proper' job even when you're published is summed up by a question from my hubs when our youngest child finally started school this September. "So, when are you going back to work?"
    I think because writing is creative, it's seen as art and not a career. I think because I'm not contributing a regular pay packet, then it's still seen as a hobby and not a proper job. Even if I figure child care and housework into the equation, in most people's view I'm a stay at home mum and not a worker. I feel like I'm still trying to prove myself. Writing is such a time consuming process, and when you add promotion, marketing, networking, and the inevitable pursuit of pirates ripping off your work, it can take longer than a 'normal' job. I hate it, but I'm learning to live with perceptions. I'm doing something that I 'generally' love even if it isn't giving me a liveable income. Maybe one day if I stick at it. In the meantime, I'll just make it look like I'm earning my keep running the household.

    1. That seems to be the common view. It's a slow-start business too. You don't make a million sales on the first book. You may not even make 1000 sales on the first book until book 2 or 3 or 5 comes out.

      In twenty years I'm sure we'll both be household names laughing our way to the bank. *wink*

    2. Heh, that's what I keep telling hubs. ;)

  2. I take exception to people who ask if I am a Working Mom. Of course I am, I'm a Mom.

    Being a Mom is not an 8-hour-a-day, 5-days-a-week job. It is a 24/7 job with no vacations, no holidays, and definitely no sick time included.

    Granted, it comes down from that 24/7 pace once the kids get old enough to take care of themselves and eventually move out. However, that takes a good 15-20 years depending on how many kids one has, and then gets replaced with worrying that said kids are taking care of themselves.

    I've done the work outside the home bit. It was easier being a stay-at-home Mom because then I didn't have to clean up the others attempts to clean for me. When I could get them to clean for me. Usually it meant that the mess that would have been cleaned up right after being made instead got left to get even worse before I could get home and clean it.

    Not to mention that working all day just to come home and do even more work takes it's toll. There's no time to relax and usually no one doing things for you unless asked. Asking somehow seems to diminish it from being something done for you to something done just because you asked for it. A concept Carvis has never understood.

    Being a Mom is a full-time job. No other job can be considered full-time compared to it. Yet the perception that being a Mom is not a job persists. Same thing for anyone who works in arts and crafts, which includes writing. The perception is that these are not "real" or full-time jobs because no one is seen as doing anything one would consider as work.

    Okay, rant over.

  3. I love your blog.

    That said, being a mom is full-time job enough. Writing - especially with the hours you put into it - is another full-time job.

    So don't let anyone diss you and your writing. You deserve better than that.

    And I just read what Ilnara Hesken wrote above me... bravo! You stated it perfectly!

  4. I challenge anyone who thinks writing and getting published is not work to give it a go themselves!