View Full Version : “Real” Job Vs. Writing

07-02-2008, 09:46 PM
Ever get your brain stuck? When you keep thinking about the same thing over and over again so you reach the point where you’re sick of your brain’s narrator’s voice?

I’m there.

Four years ago I was in a job that I thought I couldn’t get out of. It was really a decent career deep in corporate America but I hated it. Then things happened and now I’m writing (mostly) for a living. I make a lot less money now and I’m still dealing with bills from the old days so things are tight but I’m in the position that I’d been dreaming about. I escaped.

Earlier this week an old friend called and told me that he’s involved in a start-up company. He wants me on board. This thing means a lot of money and, like he told me, I could get involved, hang on for a year or two and take care of some of those bills then return to where I am now. (Cue Pacino "They drag me back in!")

Naturally, I’ve turning this over a lot in my mind and losing some sleep over it. It’s a big decision.

In writing this post I’m not asking for advice. I would just like to hear your stories. Did you leave a good job to chase the writer’s dream? Do you regret it or thank your lucky toes every day? Would you go back to your old job? Are you still working for the man and looking to make it as a writer? What’s your plan?

07-02-2008, 10:23 PM
I did. No regrets.

Of course, I did have some financial security before I did the plunge. I wouldn't recommend otherwise unless you have some kind of backup plans.

07-02-2008, 10:40 PM
I left a job to write, but then again I was injured at said job so badly that I could probably only manage working part time, even today. Fortunately, I have a hubby to take care of me, but money is always tight and that kind of sucks...

07-02-2008, 10:48 PM
I almost led a writing life for about a year. I was working part-time (from home) and my kids were old enough to be in school full time. I loved it. I know I would take to the Writing Life permanently. But, without any commercial success, I felt pressured by my husband to return to work full time. I'm definitely not happy going to work 5 days a week and would return to a writing life in a heartbeat, given the opportunity.

I hope to stay in this job for only a year. I also hope that if I manage any writing success within that time, I'll be able to quit and write full time.

07-03-2008, 05:17 AM
Sticking with the job in Corporate America until I can replace my salary/benefits from my writing income.

I look at that as motivation. :D

07-03-2008, 06:34 AM

They oppose each other continually.

07-03-2008, 03:26 PM
I'd be making as much as the guy in the next office if I were willing to give up not only writing, but my personal life all together and do the 60 hour week that seems to be the norm in 'CorpAm'

AS it is I can't compete with myself as mercenaries go to the highest bidder and my boss is paying more than I do.

And...there is the insurance thing, too. I'd love to only work part time and be creative the rest of the time but I not only lack the financial security, but I'm helping one kid through the same college that the younger one will be attending in a few and there is no 'Mr Jaycinth' to help with bills.

But I dream about it. I'd really like to walk away smiling, one day.

Elaine Margarett
07-03-2008, 03:51 PM
I took a job in 2004 with the military as a casualty photographer. I told myself when I took the job it was only for 6 months (This was the beginning of the war and everyone was in "shock and awe" over the "shock and awe" of the invasion. Military Intelligence said we'd only need to perform the job for 6 months). The money was insane, and my background as a first responder, and search and rescue volunteer prepared me for what I was about to deal with (or so I thought).

I've made more money photographing for the DoD, than I ever thought I'd make in a modest writing career; but it's all but killed my creativity (no pun intended). I was layed off in January when my original contract expired and I've turned down initial offers to go back.

At this point, I don't think I'll go back. I feel like I've been at war... and I've had enough. :-( I'm trying to get back into regular writing but I've been struggling with a total lack of focus. It's something I have to work through. I need to reconnect with the joy I used to find in writing. I'm extremly fortunate to have an understanding spouse who is okay with me staying home and not making any money. I just need to be okay with it; then maybe I can reconnect with what I loved about writing in the first place.

07-03-2008, 04:21 PM
Wow, Elaine.


That really gives me some perspective on my fussy little worries.

Elaine Margarett
07-03-2008, 04:27 PM
Wow, Elaine.


That really gives me some perspective on my fussy little worries.

Yes...but that is nothing compared to what the families of these service members must deal with.

Completely changed my interpretation of what having a bad day really means!

who will never take a day of life for granted~

07-03-2008, 10:10 PM
I have been trying to leave my previous career for years now to focus on some type of writing. I went to school, got and undergrad and will be going to grad school in the fall. I just knew that being a chef for the rest of my life was not a good idea. Strenuous work, hard lifestyle, bunch of messed up egos. All around.

My next life is that of a journalist. I am getting out, and getting out is all I can think about. At the same time, at this point in my life I feel that I have done some things writing that I can be proud of. Two novels (not published or even shopped, but basically done) a full length screen play and various other scripts, short stories and journalistic endeavors. I, at the tender age of 27, have already had a 13 year career that is (in about a month) about to be over. Could I turn around and make money only writing? Maybe. If I chose only fictional pursuits. I've never really had the luxury for it. What I need is to create opportunities that will bring the fruition of my overall goal; to get out of the kitchen. That, and to attend baseball games and get paid for it.

I don't think trying to create a life by writing is a bad idea, it just seems that one has to work to create a life in which that is a plausibility. Create opportunities and strive to make them real. If the fortitude and desire are their, then everything should be able to bounce the right way. Yes?