How to Survive Your Day Job

 

by Monique Hall

If you’re a writer and you’re anything like me, the title of this post would have served as click-bait. However, I’ll admit straight off the bat, the title is not my own. It’s a title that caught my attention and introduced me to Sarah Werner’s Write Now podcast. If you don’t know it, get on it! It’s a weekly podcast for any writer looking for the courage and inspiration to write every day.

In this episode in particular, Sarah tells of how many writers express to her their desire to quit their day job so they can write every day. I know I’m guilty! She goes on to talk about expectations versus reality and dreams versus fantasy. There’s no need for me to explain her ideas here as I’m sure you’ll have a listen for yourself.

What I will mention is how Sarah encourages her listeners not to overlook the good in their day jobs. It’s so easy to be blinded by the negatives: getting up and out of the house early every morning, being on the clock, having someone tell you how you should be spending your time. I know that as a writer I resent the time I have to spend working for someone else–and that’s despite enjoying my job!

Instead, we should be trying to focus on the positives. After all, we have to put food on the table; there’s really no point to letting all the negativity fester like poison intent on making us bitter and depressed.

So, despite the fact I’m still aiming to one day write full time, right now I’m focusing on the skills I’m developing as a result of working in my day job that might help me when I’m living the dream. For me, it’s the relationships I’m developing with potential readers, dealing with clients, the public speaking (ugh!), running workshops, getting an inside peek into the world of booksellers–and these are just the few things I can consciously identify.

If you’re having trouble listing anything good about your job, you may want to have a listen to Sarah’s episode on how to survive your day job. She has some great advice, including the affirmation that despite your day job and every other aspect of your life …

YOU ARE A WRITER.

 

 

 

Guest post contributed by Monique Hall, a small town contemporary romance author. She enjoys feel-good movies and soppy romance novels with “happily-ever-afters.”

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15 thoughts on “How to Survive Your Day Job”

  1. I recently went back to a part-time day job after being a full-time writer for about a year and a half. There were several reasons for that, including that it makes me get out of the house and interact with other humans. But as an unexpected benefit, my writing time has become more sacred/productive. I may actually be getting more writing done as a part-time employee than I was as a full-time writer.

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  2. Working full time and trying to write and draw is a struggle for me. At the same time, my skills aren’t good enough just yet to start making money off my work. So I decided to settle for the middle ground and pick up a part time job! I start on Wednesday so I’m hoping everything works out.

    Thanks for the podcast recommendation! Going to listen to that at my new job haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is tricky. I think we all dream of becoming full time writers, but in many cases we’re not there yet. It’s taken me a few years to get up to averaging 10 hours a week on writing, with a part time 20 hour week day job. I’d like to get my hours up, but it’s a gradual process.
    I think it’s one thing to do something like that for a week, or for a few months, but maintaining that kind of focus consistently over a period of years is a whole other matter. I started blogging a little over a year ago, and even as it gets easier, in other ways it also gets harder. But I’m hopeful that someday I’ll get there.

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  4. It’s every writer’s dream to one day write the stories they love and make a living from it. But that certainly doesn’t mean we have to hate any alternative career (whether temporary or otherwise) as we work towards that goal. I’ve found that I’m especially more satisfied in my day job now that I work in a bookshop 🙂 It’s also a great opportunity to study the world of bookselling and the ever-evolving trends in fiction. Nice post!

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  5. Some days are harder than others to remember the perks of having a day job but I know I am not yet ready to get back to freelancing. I would definitely need a financial cushion before I can even consider it. Thanks for the reminder that having a day job isn’t all bad.

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  6. Recently, I’ve been considering quitting my part time job. I work retail, and while I can’t complain about the financial support I get from it, it can be frustrating sometimes in regards to my writing career.

    There are nights I work late and my only motivation for getting through it is coming home to my journal and laptop. However, by the time I get home, it’s already past midnight.

    At least my part time job provides experiences to write about: working retail will teach you plenty about people. And as someone who never steps out of my room, that’s helpful. Even so, I can’t help but wonder if the added story material is worth it if I never get the time (or physical strength) to sit down at my desk and put it on paper.

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  7. Sometimes at work, I survive by writing my blogposts or taking care of nonwork business (ordering stuff online, paying bills, etc…) its just a reprieve I need from just starting at the same documents for hours. However, in terms of writing for a living, I think it can be done especially if you consider the need for editing and copywriting. That can be incorproated too for income as oppose to someone just hoping to monetize their blog.

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