So, you want to turn in your two-week notice at work and become a full-time writer? I do, too. However, I can think of a couple of reasons we should both keep our day jobs…
To pay the bills. Most of us write because we love to write or because we have something we want to share with the world. Money is not our primary motive for writing…and it’s a good thing! While it’s okay to dream about a six-figure book deal, the truth is that very few authors earn a decent living exclusively by writing. (Think about your favorite authors: author/college professor, author/lecturer, author/lawyer, author/school teacher, author/news reporter…)
To keep us plugged into the real world (as opposed the fantasy worlds inside our heads). While stories develop in our brains, the infrastructure for those stories is found in the real world, away from our computer screens. We want to communicate our ideas to other people, but first, we need to understand their language. The best way to become fluent in the language of our readers is to be out working, raising kids, and living life alongside them.
So that we get used to the pace and pressure of working multiple jobs – because writers will always be required to work multiple jobs. All the writers I have consulted say they struggle to find time to write. Why? Because even if you are a successful writer – even the kind with the six-figure book deal – you will never be only a writer. You will also be an editor, a contract negotiator, a marketing consultant, a public speaker, a travel agent, etc. And if you are a mom or a dad, you will still work that gig, too, book deal or no.
My “day job” is stay-at-home mom, so my work schedule is pretty flexible. Still, I struggle to find time to write consistently. I manage the best I can.
I figure I might as well get used to the struggle – even if I land that book deal, I’ll be pulling multiple shifts.
Now, writers, let’s get to work!