Sunday, May 24, 2009

Does having a day job help or hurt writers?

I just read a post that asks the question, "does having a day job help or hurt writers?" The author had recently read another post asking the same thing so I'm jumping into the fray. Like anything else, it depends. It depends on what the day job is. It depends on the writer's other commitments. It depends on the writer's age and energy. When I was younger and when my job was less stressful, I wrote all the time. I'd come home from the day job and stay up till midnight and after to write. I'd do that night after night, week in, week out. I thought (maybe wrongfully so) that anybody could write if they wanted to badly enough. That was before I gained more responsibility at work, before I had such an exacting task master at work, before I had 13 other women to supervise and be a good example to. That was when I was younger. It was also before my daughter was on three softball teams concurrently and my home became the softball field. I still believe that we can find time to write (or do anything we want to) if we want to badly enough, but can we mass produce? Will our day job necessarily give us story fodder? Maybe. Maybe not. Most of our employers and co-workers would kill us, or at least fire us, if we based stories on them. Many employers would dismiss someone if they learned they were a writer, especially an erotic romance writer. Personally, a steady pay check keeps my stress level down which allows my artistic side to come out and play. When I'm not too tired. I also write a lot more in summer than the other months of the year. Why? Because in my case, DD#2 takes a break in the summer from her sports. Summer is very hot in South Florida so we play our outdoor sports during the other three seasons of the year. You'll also want to see what Amarinda Jones, Anika Hamilton, Anny Cook, Barbara Huffert, Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Dakota Rebel, Kelly Kirch, Molly Daniels, Sandra Cox, Regina Carlysle, and Cindy Spencer Pape are up to, so make sure to visit them also. :)

7 comments:

Helen Ginger said...

I also wrote more when I was younger. The problem now is not my age, but all the other things I have to do. No matter how I try to divide up my time, something gets dropped.

Helen
Straight From Hel

Clare Revell said...

my day job is working a school breakfast club from 730am to 9am. So then i have the day free for laundry, writing, cleaning etc.

problem is when schools out, like this week for half term, so are my kids. Right now we have sponge bob on. this will soon be replaced by hannah montana, zach and cody and lizzy maguire.

Amarinda Jones said...

I write at work, I write stories based on people I know, everyone knows what I do and I have energy to burn so I do okay

Writer and Cat said...

That whole "you can make it happen if you want it bad enough" (with the unspoken finisher of, "and if you don't, you're obviously a lazy ass loser") SO gets on my nerves. EVERYONE has a different situation!

Ashley Ladd said...

I wish I could write at work - I do and I don't. I guess what I wish is to have more time and energy to write during the day, any day I choose. I'd be fired at my day job if I did personal things like my writing, plus now that I'm manager, it's doubly bad for me as I'm supposed to be a good example.

As per age, energy, and commitments, my hubby tends to fill my commitment calendar. He works two jobs so he signs the kids up for mega activities and expects me to take them regardless of what else I need to do. I try to write at their events but now I'm being told I'm "stand offish" because I do so. Should I care? Sometimes it hurts. But I can't do everything. I'm not Superwoman.

Amarinda Jones said...

Never be a manager. Plebs always get away with everything - and kid, it's your life to live as much as it's his and i would be telling him to stick his commitment calender in his ear...but that's me

Ashley Ladd said...

In one way I don't want to be the manager because I'm tired of the stress. But I don't want to give back the extra $ I earn.

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