Friday Fun – Your Dream Writer’s Life

Friday Fun is a group post from the writers of the NHWN blog. Each week, we’ll pose and answer a different, get-to-know-us question. We hope you’ll join in by providing your answer in the comments.

QUESTION: Spring is finally showing her pretty face around here. As gray turns to green, our hopes and hearts are raised with new optimism and enthusiasm. Anything seems possible. So, let’s have some fun with that. If you could have your dream writer’s life, what would it look like? What would your days look like, your readers, your work? What would it feel like to be you in all your writing life bliss?


wendy-shotWendy Thomas: As I already write and teach all day, I’m pretty much living the life I want, however, when I think of what my life would be like if I made it big (NYT bestseller big) I think of a beautiful writing room with large windows that look out onto a gorgeous view (mountains or the shore, I’d be happy with both.) I see clean lines, furniture with history, and everything organized for my day. What I clearly see is *my* space set aside from the rest of my family’s (don’t worry, I also see a nice office somewhere in the house for Marc.) That doesn’t mean my children can’t live there, I just see my working space as being separate (which is one of the reasons I obsess about a  tiny writing cabin which could also work.)I see a writing sanctuary.

My ideal writing day? Get up in the morning, have some coffee and sit down at my desk to write. I’m one of those people who could easily write for hour after hour with no interruption. Being able to write gives me the same high that I got when I was a long distance runner.

I also see time each day for exercise and a long walk to clear out any writing cobwebs.

Because I am a natural performer (clown) I also see giving workshops or presentations on my pieces. I love being able to teach others, it’s all the better when I can make them laugh.

Oh and lastly, I see myself as being introduced as “Wendy Thomas, author of …”


headshot_jw_thumbnailJamie Wallace: I SO wanted to take more time to think about my answer to this question, but the realities of my current writing life mean that I just can’t spare more than a few minutes to luxuriate in the fantasy. (A girl still has to sleep.)

Once upon a time, I would have answered this inquiry with a glib crack about wanting to be the next J.K. Rowling … only me … and better. But, if I really stop to think about the reality of her writing life, would I really want it? I’m not so sure. I mean, there’s no doubt that she has achieved a level of commercial and financial success that no other writer can touch, but I have a feeling that there’s been a price to pay for all that fame and fortune.

Though I love the idea of touching so many hearts and minds with my own stories the way Rowling did with her Harry Potter series, I do not think I am built for being in the limelight. I’m too much of a homebody. I don’t even like to leave my cats alone for the weekend when we escape for a quick trip to the mountains. I can’t imagine going on a book tour the likes of what Ms. Rowling has endured.

No, for me, I think a quieter kind of writing life is a better fit. I would like to make a (very) comfortable living with my stories (as opposed to the decent living I make wrangling words for my content marketing clients). I would like to have creative freedom and the ability to work on a wide variety of projects. (I’m even brewing up some ideas for new ways to package stories and create different kinds of reading experiences.) I would like to continue working from the comfort of my own home, but I would like to be able to work at my own pace – giving myself time to enjoy the journey and the process as much as holding the finished product in my hands.

My writing and creative time would include enough space for journaling, experimentation, creating, and engaging with my community of readers and fellow artists & writers. My days would also be spacious enough to accommodate time with family and friends, time to volunteer, time for self-care (yoga, riding, hiking, juicing, enough sleep), and time for completely aimless meandering.

Though there are some days when this dream seems too pie-in-the-sky to ever grasp, I know that I’m slowly getting closer and closer to making it a reality. Step-by-step, I’m getting there. Some days it almost feels like I’m already living this life. 🙂

16 thoughts on “Friday Fun – Your Dream Writer’s Life

  1. Writing essays or YA fiction that made some difference in people’s lives. Half of the time I would be writing on my porch overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina and the other half of the time from locales like Scotland and India. Thanks for the prompt!

  2. I would wake up, go to the gym and work out for as long as I want, come home, write, write and write. I see myself in my own writing space, a private office with a large window that I can look out of and think. It would be very modern and peaceful and have a wall full of the books i love to read, including my own! (so basically it would be a writing space/library lol). I would basically be fine with spending my days writing, and my nights with my husband and daughter. If I ever had the opportunity, I would take it in a second!

  3. My dream would be to have clients to write for and getting paid to do so. Life forced me to change careers from a dancer/performer and full time mailman to a passionate writer after I fractured my neck and broke my back. My days, well, nights of dancing are gone forever and I’m thankful that I can even walk again, but this unplanned event has afforded me that chance to do what I had always wanted to do . . . write! I must admit, it’s a struggle, especially where I’m starting out later in life. I would love to have my Copywrite business take off and my children’s books published. I see my office having a fireplace and a view into the woods. I would wake up in the morning, let the sun shine in, make endless pots of coffee and create, create, create copy for all of my well paying clients. Next I would work on my children’s stories testing them out on my two young grandchildren. Of course a #1 best seller would be the icing on the cake! It may be a struggle, but I’m never going to give up!

    • Wow. I related to your experience but obviously not at the same level. It wasn’t a horrible accident, but age and disease that ended my horse jumping days. Horses had been my one true love since I was nine, I write for the same reason I rode, for the love of it. No delusions or even dreams of being anyone else are needed. I can be happy in my little booth.
      I can’t imagine what it’s been like for you. To have the possibility of not being able to walk! But, like you, my physical issues around lupus, forced me to consider another joy. And I’m just as into it. Funny thing is, my mother (died when I was in high school) always tried to talk me into working on my writing skills instead everything going into the horses. Turned out, she was right.

      • Yes, mothers are always right, we’re just to stubborn to admit it. My mom passed away 5 months before my accident and I honestly believe she was there with me during my ordeal. I’m so sorry that you can’t ride anymore, I think we can both agree that we sincerely know what it’s like to lose the ability to do something you love to do. Unless a person has experienced it, I don’t think they can fully understand the scope of pain that comes with it. Like you, I love to write and it was always my hobby, not my career, but I guess now it’s my new journey. I’m very glad for you that your writing career is blossoming, you deserve it. I’ve decided to just keep plugging along and maybe I’ll catch a break somewhere down the line. Blessings to you! Keep in touch!

  4. My father said to me the other day I was lucky to be doing what I love. I write for a living. Since my job is part-time, I probably had been about to complain about some over scheduled day. But instead I sat back and thought about what he had said. He’s a wise old guy, I realized. I write every day. Sometimes it’s in between other stuff at home or other duties at my job as an editor and a writer. But every day I write a newspaper or magazine article or a blog entry or Istruggle with the beginnings of a novel. But it’s all writing. Will I see fame, fortune or a novel with my name under the title? I’d like that but really, already … I’m living the dream. And thanks to all of you for sharing your dreams.

  5. I think my dream is pretty simple. Just to have books that people love. This would give me the time in the day to write, but also to just be able to do spur of the moment things with my wife and kids. “Hey kids, want to go to the mountains?” “Yeah!” “All right, let’s go”. Not having to worry about vacation time, or finances, to accomplish that. But mostly, having people think of my books as treasures.

  6. Hello. I’m new to the world of blogging, but I want to join in.

    I picture an office overlooking green meadows and trees as far as the eye can see. The office, more like a library, would be filled with books, and artwork. I love sketches. A Rembrandt would look perfect by my Degas( might as well dream big). There would be lots of natural light beaming in through the windows that fill the room.
    I would sit at the oak wooden desk, and write about characters that are starting to form in my writing. I would watch my three boys play, in the meadows, or maybe I would take a stroll in the rose garden, or stroll in the secret garden, that my husband had designed for birthday as a surprise.
    I would go on mission trips to places like Mozambique, Mexico and Honduras. And I would want to write about the amazing experiences, that were had in those places, and the rich relationships I developed.
    It would feel like coming home.

  7. If I get my heart desires I would be a recluse writer living in some kind of farmhouse (newly built with the use of old/salvaged materials, equipped with all the necessary mod-com, big windows, clean lines,sea of space, few furniture, big kitchen) minus the animals. A place with a walled cottage garden, a natural pond with a giant willow tree, an orchard, vegetables garden and no neighbours. I want to be an established writer ala Stephen King with the soul of Edgar Allan Poe, very far from the maddening crowd. I only write when I want and what I want and will not do any interview at all. I will live the life of a gentleman like Mr. Darcy and forever be alone.

  8. I loved the responses. After hearing myself tell a much younger co-worker to do what she loved rather than what she thought she needed to do (mental health counseling was our work), I quit my job for a somewhat early retirement. I enjoyed my work but felt the urgent need to write even more by 62.
    I start by midday and write by our sunny (or rainy) balcony, listen to classical music or sit in silence. I can manage about 6 hours at a time. I find I can write anywehre–in small spaces or noisey ones, alone or with others around. But it would be lovely to have a place fronted by a lake or river, as nature–especially water and woods–is a requisite for my well being. I would like to publish more, perhaps a collection of short stories or essays. I do enjoy giving readings and would like to do more. But fame is not a goal, anymore. I just want to share tales and experiences with others and hear theirs, as well. What does being a writer feel like these days? Like heaven on earth.

  9. First, the dream would be having a reader say, “I really enjoyed what you wrote. Now I have to add tissues to my grocery list and I’m going to make sure my children read this.”
    Actually, one reader has written those exact words to me concerning a short story.
    Yes, one. But that one person made my day.
    The rest of the dream would be to do that full time; to connect with as many readers as possible in that way.
    AtahouseoverlookingtheoceanontheOuterBanksofNorthCarolinaofcourse! (chuckle)

  10. I wake early to meditate and write my Morning Pages. After getting the kids off to school, I pour a cup of coffee and sit down to write for a few hours – in silence and without interruption. When I need a break, I gaze out on the cedars and ferns that surround the house or take a walk along the forested trails or the seaside path nearby. There is a spaciousness in my day, a sense that there is time enough to craft the stories I am called to tell, and time left for my family and for my own self care. I am living a richly creative and productively artistic life and have the great good fortune to have a devoted readership for the books I’ve published.
    Sigh…. Thanks for this! What a lovely dreamy few minutes!

  11. I would love to have my own library study filled with reference books and resources along with a long, hard wood library table. There would be a fireplace in there for cool evenings and attached covered and screened in porch to let in clean air and natural sounds. I could write either inside the study or go out on the porch. I could listen to the night sounds as I try and describe a scene that happens at dusk or describe the scent of rain, earth and sage as an Arizona monsoon rolled thru. I would be able to convey to my readers sensory details that allowed them to be in the book, not just reading it, but being apart of it. This would make me feel peaceful and accomplished as I helped others have their armchair adventures and mysteries while at the same time I had the fun of dreaming and creating them.

  12. Great question! I would do more of what I am doing (writing!) and not require such self-discipline to do this thing that makes me so happy(writing!) I have the time and space and I sometimes squander it. Lots of nature would be helpful I think, though I also enjoy writing in coffee shops and even sitting at my dining room table. I want to spend most of my days writing, but would also enjoy venturing out to various places/short trips to speak to readers about the most meaningful parts of my books.

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