Should I take time off work to write full time?

Flannery O'Connor

Dear Literary Ladies,
I’ve saved a bit of money, and I’m considering taking a few months or a year off of work to write full time. I want to see if I can make a go of it, once and for all. Is this a good idea, or would I be putting too much pressure on myself? 

It might be dangerous for you to have too much time to write. I mean if you took off a year and had nothing else to do but write and weren’t used to doing it all the time then you might get discouraged too easily.

Of course I don’t know. But don’t anyhow say to yourself that you will give yourself so long to find out what you can do—because these things don’t work on time limits. Too much time is as bad as too little.

I’d certainly  try for all the fellowships and whatnot and I would  keep sending my stories out. Agents are alright but when you send your stuff out yourself you get comments that are sometimes very valuable.

Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964), from a letter to a friend,
published in The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor

Flannery O'Connor stamp


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