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Working nine to five… September 12, 2010

Posted by mattfarmer in writing.
Tags: , , , , , , ,

*you all just heard Dolly Parton in your heads, didn’t you…*

I subscribe to the Clarion blog. It sends out loads of good speculative fiction news, writing prompts, ideas you never I’d never thought about (Fashion, day jobs in space), and guest bloggers.

On particular guest blogger, Dale Bailey wrote a guest blog about having a day-to-day job. This blog struck a chord with me.

I write. People who have read my work say- you are a writer, why are you not published? Yes, well.. but along with being a writer and a creator, you do also need to pay the rent, put food on the table, and have money to buy stuff. This is where the day job comes in. Very rarely is it that a day job matches your goals and desires in a creative way. Mine does, but in such a minuscule way. How to create different replies to customers about the same thing without being repetitive?

What I like about Dale’s guest blog is, he doesn’t fight against the day job. He does not have this struggle of the want to be a WRITER versus the want to eat and have a regular income. He is able to mesh the two together in a way which makes him satisfied and happy.

I know, from speaking to friends who are solely writers, that their lives are not days filled with writing the novel. They need to take on contract work, scarps of jobs here and there, writing things they would prefer not to. And it seems their creative writing time is limited to ‘after hours’, much like mine is. Part of me envies them in that they are living the writing life. But then, being able to have a weekend of relaxation, rather than having to finish another writing contract, and seemingly to be always working, does not make me feel envious at all.

I know I can fit writing around my life. My experiences with Nanowrimo have shown me this. But this event is not me trying to earn a living by my writing, but more taking part in a crazy event to create something.

I am still endeavoring to find a job which feels more like a writing and creative job for me. I am coming to realise, in this world, the growing need of a steady pay cheque. While this may cause struggle against my desire to be a paid writer & novelist, reading Dale’s blog spot made me feel less angst in this struggle.

I am writing, I am creating. And until I do make money through it, I must concentrate on providing and building a career for myself. Who knows, maybe if I get a job of awesome, being a novelist may not be the goal of my life?

Did I just say that?



1. chapterfourfivesix - September 17, 2010

I think this is awesome!

Maybe I’m partial because it describes my job vs writing setup, but this seems like so much more of a productive way to live than treating your current job as treading water until the ‘real’ work comes along.

As you and Dale Bailey mention, not starving, not being rained on, and being able to focus on creative projects you love are fantastic perks.

One other ‘yay job’ shoutout I would add is that my jobs have given me so much to write about. Besides allowing me to buy plane tickets, the jobs themselves have taken me to places I would never go ( freight elevator in a giant department store, a frigging ridiculous mansion on a private island, a ballet company, a mental hospital…) and allowed me to meet so many CHARACTERS. Not that I treat everyone I meet like grist for the mill or anything… except that I sometimes kind of do, haha.

I doubt I would have much to write about if I didn’t have my working life, ridiculous and non zillionaire though it has been so far…

Maybe it’s sour grapes , but whenever I read stories or books where the main character is a writer , the actual author has to work extra hard to keep me reading(even very very very good and/or very very very famous writers. Seriously. Do I want to read about a person sitting at a desk by themselves and thinking things?)
Anyway, cool post. Good read!

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