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JayEss
09-24-2005, 05:27 AM
Hi all,

I didn't know where to post this one.

I'm an aspiring writer. Can't afford to fuel my passion from 9 to 5 because of a home mortgage and so I am forced to have a crappy day job. Yes, like thousands of other writers out there.

My day job is an easy IT role. No major responsibilities; don't take the work home etc - just the way I wanted it (or so I thought; and I am getting to the point soon) - because I wanted to conserve my brain power for writing after hours.

Anyway, although I will never give up writing, I am lately starting to think that maybe I should be in a more challeging role at work? 'Cause I am starting to say some seriously bizarre things from 9 to 5 which I have interpreted as personal side-effects from being insecure about doing an "easy" job. I don't want people thinking that I am working helpdesk because it's all I can get. Blah. Blah. THERE'S A REAL LIVE BUDDING ARTIST WITHIN. The idea that people are thinking that I am satisfied with my day job hurts my ego. Hehe.

Two questions:

1) How many of you are in a similar scenario? And how do you deal with it?

2) Would you seek a more challenging role and still hope you have the energy to write out of hours? Or would you stay in your current setup and let people question your sanity?


Hmmh. I think this is all about my ego. But I need to hear from people out there. Thanks in advance.

three seven
09-24-2005, 06:31 PM
Personally, I took a crappy job as a security guard and I take my laptop with me every day. I work four 12-hour shifts, during each of which I usually get about 8 hours to write, and then I get four days off. To, er... write.

And to anyone who asks, I say "Yes, it's a crappy, boring job, but I'm getting paid to sit and write and occasionally get off my arse to shout at people, so I really couldn't care less." Works for me anyway.

PennyS
09-24-2005, 06:38 PM
Personally, if I could have a crappy job that paid all my bills, I'd take it. I work in real estate and there is never anytime. Clients call as late as 9pm and as early as 7am. In real estate, if you want to sell, you make the time. Therefore, when I do have writing time, it's usually interrupted. I think, at this point in my life, I would rather have my thoughts on writing, rather than how to market a new listing or finding a buyer the "perfect" house.

TashaGoddard
09-24-2005, 07:06 PM
1) I'm in the opposite situation, actually. I run my own business (along with my husband) and the vast majority of the year I can't find any time to do anything but work. I have had to resort to saving up my writing for times when I know I'm going to be free. Not what I would advise doing. I sometimes dream of having a 'crappy job' where I just have to turn up, punch a time card, work 8 hours and then go home. First of all, I can't afford to do that but, more importantly, I'm pretty sure I would hate it.

2) If you can get the pleasure and the challenge from your writing, while keeping the 'crappy job' to pay the bills, then I would do that. But if the boredom of the job is running you down, you might be better off going for something more challenging. You need to keep in mind that it usually takes a long time (and sometimes never really happens) to 'make it' as a writer. So, in the meantime you should do whatever you can to ensure your whole life gives you satisfaction - if you can!

Good luck with the decision!

underthecity
09-24-2005, 07:29 PM
1) How many of you are in a similar scenario? And how do you deal with it?

2) Would you seek a more challenging role and still hope you have the energy to write out of hours? Or would you stay in your current setup and let people question your sanity?


I used to be a radio broadcast engineer, then an installation technician for an A/V company. I have since left those industries and now work as a data entry/group-support person at an investments company. It's boring work and I hate doing it. But it pays OK and is really close to my house. Besides, when I'm not busy I can research and write. I wrote a good chunk of my new book while at work (but don't tell them I said so). Everyone there knows I'm an author, and I have the covers of my first two books posted on a wall in my cubicle. However, I don't tell anyone that I'm writing and I never write instead of working. Oh, it does help to have a deadline for motivation. IOW, if I hadn't written while at work I never would have met my deadline.

When I was a technician, I was exhausted all the time and didn't want to write. In a previous department where I work now I had no downtime. I worked continuously for 8 to 10 hours each day and was too brain dead at night to write anything. So to answer the second question, I have no compelling desire to seek a more challenging role at work because I'm too lazy and it would seriously cut into my goofing off/writing time.

So, I guess I would rather stay doing what I'm doing since I have some downtime during the day where I can zone out and visit AW and/or get some writing done. Besides, I recently got a raise, so it's not as bad now. The manager recently told me and my co-support person that we're both "valuable members of the team," which means we shouldn't be going anywhere.

allen

JayEss
09-25-2005, 05:11 AM
Thanks guys. Those responses help.

I'm only 28 and still have many 9-5 working years ahead of me. So the idea of doing a crappy job for that long is kinda daunting. Perhaps the solution is to stay in crappy job mode but find something a teensy weensy bit more challenging so that I don't become part of the furniture at work... which is how I feel now.

(Maybe I should buy some ego-crushing tablets. I guess they'd be for sale where you buy the ego-boosting ones...)

Yeshanu
09-25-2005, 11:26 PM
JayEss,

Right now I'm working at a really crappy job (making fuel filters etc.) and I absolutely hate it, but it pays at least some of the bills. I'm biding my time for a year until I am assigned an internship place, and then I hope to become an ordained minister. So working on an assembly line is really out of my field.

I survive by getting to know the people and their stories, and by using my lunch break to write.

Don't take those ego-crushing tablets, and don't consign yourself to a lifetime of nine-to-five. You've got many years ahead of you to build up your writing career to the point where you can ditch the "real" job, or you can explore other passions in order to find a way to earn a living without giving up your life.

Yeshanu
09-25-2005, 11:28 PM
When I posted my answer, I ended up with my signature line staring me in the face. "Become who you were meant to be..." Find out first, then work towards it. BTW, I was 33 before I found out who I was truly meant to be, and I'm still working towards it twelve years later. The road goes ever on and on...

Vanessa
09-25-2005, 11:38 PM
Thanks guys. Those responses help.

I'm only 28 and still have many 9-5 working years ahead of me. So the idea of doing a crappy job for that long is kinda daunting. Perhaps the solution is to stay in crappy job mode but find something a teensy weensy bit more challenging so that I don't become part of the furniture at work... which is how I feel now.

(Maybe I should buy some ego-crushing tablets. I guess they'd be for sale where you buy the ego-boosting ones...)

I think that if you're wanting something at work more challenging, you should address that concern with your supervisor. Tell them that you are interested in something else. Ask them to cross train you for a few weeks to see if it's something you like. Persistence is key. Some may think it's an annoyance, but how will your boss know your interests if you don't tell them.

And as far as your writing, keep doing your thing. Sometimes it may be hard to find time, but keep your goal in mind. It keeps the soul energized to envision your dream.

Wishing you well!

Jamesaritchie
09-26-2005, 08:26 AM
If you're worried what others will think, you're already chaining yourself to the eight ball. But if you really care what they think, if it really bothers you that others think you're content with a crappy, easy day job, then tell them all you intend to write the great American novel, beat J. K. Rowling in sales, and win the Nobel before you die.

If the laughter doesn't motivate you to write more and care less about what others think, nothing will.

OneTeam OneDream
09-26-2005, 08:30 AM
I drive an hour and a half each way every day to my job. I am a manager for a major cell phone company. I love my job, but I love writing more. Unfortunately, until I start making 75k a year writing, I'm stuck. I really shouldn't say that I'm stuck, because as I said, I do love my job. However, I get three hours a day to think about my ideas. As far as an answer on writing those ideas down........I don't sleep much.

JayEss
09-27-2005, 05:06 PM
Thanks again - didn't realise this thread was continuing on ;-)

Currently... I've got the crappy day job, and I am a wife, and I am a mum (to my doggie, heh), and I have my own wellbeing to think of, and I maintain my home and garden... but I feel like my writing gets the left over, burnt-out energy that is left - if any! Kinda depressing. Where the hell do others that are in the same boat (and those that have even more responsibilities) get their drive from? Baffling!

Much to think about.

MadScientistMatt
09-27-2005, 07:24 PM
It's usually not good to spend 8 hours a day doing something you hate. It can sap your energy in other areas too. If you want a more challenging day job, even though it may seem to take more effort, you won't feel as drained or tired when you get home.

JayEss
09-29-2005, 02:35 AM
It's usually not good to spend 8 hours a day doing something you hate. It can sap your energy in other areas too.

I agree with this.

I'm in talks with myself and others to re-assess things. Progress!