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gothicangel
12-22-2011, 04:44 PM
Inspired by a different thread . . .

So, say you are offered a 1 million [£ or $] contract for your next book, would you give up the day job to become a full-time writer?

If I were to be successful for the day job I'm applying for right now, I would answer no.

1. It's as much as a dream job, as having my novel published is.

2. I need the contact with the outside world to write well.

3. I need to be exposed to ideas etc, to write my historical novels. It's very rare for me to come up with ideas from the history books alone.

Mr Flibble
12-22-2011, 04:53 PM
Like a shot!

Hmm, maybe I'd still do a couple of shifts at the pub (my second job). You see such a lot of people, get so much material...

DeleyanLee
12-22-2011, 04:56 PM
Would I quit the low-paying, physical job that I have right now for a substantial contract? In a heartbeat.

Would I stay a full-time writer? Not on your life. Or mine for that matter.

Staying at home is the fastest way to dry up my creativity. I need to get out, be among adults and get out of my own little world to function normally. I also need structure to my day, as I'm unable to give it to myself. Some kind of outside-the-house obligation will do that.

I wouldn't necessarily get another job, mind you. I might do volunteer work or something along that line, as long as I had the money well invested and planned out so I didn't need to work.

Polenth
12-22-2011, 04:57 PM
I'm not currently working another job, but if I were... I'd give it up. I have plenty of stuff to fill my time, and I'd like to go back to university and to pursue a masters and PhD. I had to stop at degree level due to finances, so I'd be back like a shot if I had the money.

Terie
12-22-2011, 04:59 PM
I'd quit, definitely. But I'd also find something to volunteer to do, otherwise I'd never get out of the house and interact with, yanno, people!

NeuroFizz
12-22-2011, 05:00 PM
From the many comments in threads about day jobs, I think I may be in the minority. But over the course of the career I've developed in my day job, it has given to me a level of the joy of accomplishment that dwarfs the joy writing fiction has provided. This doesn't minimize the joy I derive from writing, nor does it limit my desire to continue to write, but given a huge success in writing, there is no way I'd give up the day job for full time writing. Why should I? I have the best of both worlds--I can do both of the things I love. This isn't marriage, where polygamy is illegal--the creativity equivalent of soul mate doesn't have to be singular.

Terie
12-22-2011, 05:10 PM
From the many comments in threads about day jobs, I think I may be in the minority. But over the course of the career I've developed in my day job, it has given to me a level of the joy of accomplishment that dwarfs the joy writing fiction has provided. This doesn't minimize the joy I derive from writing, nor does it limit my desire to continue to write, but given a huge success in writing, there is no way I'd give up the day job for full time writing. Why should I? I have the best of both worlds--I can do both of the things I love. This isn't marriage, where polygamy is illegal--the creativity equivalent of soul mate doesn't have to be singular.

I actually LOVE the work that I do, but not the job I have (if you get the distinction). With a cool mil in the bank (or, well, 60% of a mil, after taxes!), I'd definitely quit the current job. But the type of work I do is mostly being offshored, hence I'd volunteer (possibly doing the same type of work for a charity or something like that) rather than try to find another job.

gothicangel
12-22-2011, 05:15 PM
From the many comments in threads about day jobs, I think I may be in the minority. But over the course of the career I've developed in my day job, it has given to me a level of the joy of accomplishment that dwarfs the joy writing fiction has provided. This doesn't minimize the joy I derive from writing, nor does it limit my desire to continue to write, but given a huge success in writing, there is no way I'd give up the day job for full time writing. Why should I? I have the best of both worlds--I can do both of the things I love. This isn't marriage, where polygamy is illegal--the creativity equivalent of soul mate doesn't have to be singular.

We share the same sentiments. :)

Sue_L
12-22-2011, 05:16 PM
Since my day job is a work-from-home job, I would probably quit it and get something part time OUTSIDE of the house just so I could get out and around people a little more. Even if it was working one or two days in retail of all things, I'd prefer that to staying home so much! Maybe Santa will bring us all $1 million contracts in our stockings this year...

seun
12-22-2011, 05:23 PM
If I was offered a contract or deal that gave me a comfortable living without doing a 9-5, I'd quit. I don't need millions, just enough to make a living and be free to write full time.

Bushrat
12-22-2011, 05:47 PM
No.

My "day job" is living a simple bush life and writing about it. Nobody could ever give me enough money to change my way of life, even if the market for wilderness stories suddenly dried up.

Alpha Echo
12-22-2011, 05:53 PM
Nope. I'm a Fed, and my husband owns his own business. Our health insurance is great, and our retirement benefits are decent. We need my job for that, if nothing else.

shaldna
12-22-2011, 06:10 PM
I would still work, maybe not my current job, but at something.

ohthatmomagain
12-22-2011, 06:12 PM
I don't know. I'd love to be able to quit and be a stay at home mom while writing, but I think the practical side of me would rebel and keep working. My husband works in a factory and you know how fickle those jobs are now days.

Flicka
12-22-2011, 06:29 PM
So if we ignore the fact that I'm a complete security freak who knows that a mill can dry up; would I?

You bet I'd would. My job provides intellectual stimulation, but it's nothing good books and writing couldn't provide. I have absolutely no emotional relation to my job at all, and socially I prefer deviants like myself to the kind of normal people I meet through work.

You know how Bob Dylan defined success? 'A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to.' That pretty much defines what I would like to achieve.

JimmyB27
12-22-2011, 06:29 PM
the practical side of me would rebel and keep working.
Rebelling: You're doing it wrong.

;)

Bubastes
12-22-2011, 06:37 PM
I would quit my current day job, but I'd still have a day job of some sort. I like to work. I'd go crazy if I did nothing but write.

profen4
12-22-2011, 06:45 PM
Yep. :)
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eqb
12-22-2011, 06:47 PM
I wouldn't quit my current dayjob--it satisfies a different part of my brain than writing does--but if I could, I'd cut back to working three days a week instead of five.

Otoh, if I suddenly became independently wealthy, I'd quit the dayjob completely and do more traveling.

quicklime
12-22-2011, 06:56 PM
oh hell yes....

Lyra Jean
12-22-2011, 07:01 PM
I would quit my current and look for something I would enjoy doing better. I currently work retail at Walmart. I would probably do volunteer work like in a museum or something a few days a week. Mostly stay home and take care of the baby while writing.

Wiskel
12-22-2011, 07:01 PM
Not immediately.

To answer in the spirit of the question, if I had a secure income from writing then I would want to step away from the management structures around my work but not from the work itself. I'd find a way to work for a charity or organisation involved in mental health work instead of the NHS. Having the flexibility of another income would allow me to do that on my terms without worrying about money.

Practically, With one big paycheck i'd cut down my hours to allow more time to write but i'd want to see a regular income over a few years before i'd risk giving up my salary and pension plan.

Craig

Craig

areteus
12-22-2011, 07:16 PM
I'd quit for a £million but not for $million (its only about £500,000 :) ).

Seriously, I'd sort of semi quit... Having been given a contract to complete a novel I'd want to spend as much time as I could completing it and also complete the next one and the one after that because, clearly, 'gothicangel press' has a lot of confidence in my work and wants to make it a best seller and therefore will expect sequels. That is easier to do full time.

However, I might still take on tutoring students and may do a few hours a week teaching... which is more or less what I do now, save in this fantasy where gothicangel press is paying me a million I won't be getting calls from credit card companies (who have made a mistake, I have to add...).

I think if you have a job you enjoy you will still do some of it, even if only a little to keep your hand in.

Jamesaritchie
12-22-2011, 07:16 PM
If the day job is the dream job, the, obviously, no one would give it up. But few people have day jobs they love, and even many who do like the job hate being told what to do, or hate having to get up and nine to five it, sometimes with a long commute thrown in.

A million dollars? I gave up my day job the same day the check for my first sale arrive, and is was a whopping $450.

Now, back then, $450 was just over a month's minimum wage, but still not a heck of a lot of money. It remains the best decision I ever made.

Anne Lyle
12-22-2011, 07:24 PM
In a heartbeat. I have a good job that I enjoy, as day-jobs go, but I'd much rather write fiction for a living. And with a quarter-century of adult life experience behind me, I don't think I need the stimulation of work as an input.

Besides, the majority of my job (web programming) isn't exactly sociable - if anything, it limits my day-to-day experience to a very narrow sector of society. It would be far more useful to me to be able to pursue some activities more closely related to my writing!

Shara
12-22-2011, 08:14 PM
I've been surprised by some of these answers - I hadn't realised how many people enjoy their day jobs.

I wait for the day I can give mine up. And it's not as if I have a really hateful job. As far as office jobs go, this has been the best one I've had, by far. It's just not what I want to be doing - all I ever really saw myself doing in life, from being very young - was writing.


I find it really difficult fitting all the writing, promoting, and other daily life stuff in around the day job. I keep thinking I'd get a whole lot more written if I could write all day every day.

Sadly, giving up the day job is a long way away at this stage. Total royalties received in 18 months, for both published e-books, currently equate to less than half what I earn in a week at the day job.
Shara

LJD
12-22-2011, 08:21 PM
yes.

Ctairo
12-22-2011, 08:26 PM
oh hell yes....

And with mighty, mighty speed.

AndreaGS
12-22-2011, 09:43 PM
I like my day job. I'm also pretty cautious. So if I got a $1,000,000 deal for my first book, I'd want to see if I could keep doing that.

I'd probably see if I could go down to part-time.

But eventually I'd like to quit. Like my day job, love writing.

TCnKC
12-22-2011, 10:03 PM
I wouldn't quit immediately but my time frame would depend on the advance/money that I received. My job isn't anything inspiring but it's a decent job with a good atmosphere and good people. I would have to feel pretty confident and secure to just up and quit.

Williebee
12-22-2011, 10:14 PM
I wouldn't quit, but I would change the way I do it. There are stories I want to tell, but I need to travel to learn the things I need to know in order to tell them.

Wayne K
12-22-2011, 10:20 PM
I would outsource all of your jobs for a million bucks

jjdebenedictis
12-23-2011, 01:12 AM
I have a 10-month contract, which means for two months a year, I am comfortable financially but unemployed.

And you know what? I write less when I have all the time in the world to write.

On one hand, I'd love to "retire" and just write (I'm Canadian, so health insurance is not as much a concern), but I have reservations about whether that's actually how things would work. I seem to do better with a structure and with knowing I need to write during a set block of time because that's the only time I can schedule it in.

Also, as Areteus mentioned, $1,000,000 isn't much money anymore. £1,000,000 is a much comfier margin, and I'd consider a writing-retirement more closely if that was in my bank account.

Toothpaste
12-23-2011, 01:37 AM
My day job, when I have to do a day job, is just a means to an end. If I knew I'd have financial security through writing, yes I'd quit. It would give me more time to work on my acting career, I would maybe start producing my own plays etc.

Or do you mean by "day job" anything other than writing and then no, as I would never give up acting? You see in my head "day job" is "the thing that pays the bills". Sometimes that thing is also a passion, but sometimes, as with yours truly, your two passions in life don't pay the bills - at least not consistently - in my case writing and acting.

Now writing has actually afforded me some ability to not always work in an office etc, and I get to pick and choose when I feel like temping, when I need the extra cash.

But I would so give up temping in a heartbeat. Despite the nice people I meet. :) I tend to stay friends with people outside of the environment in which I met them.

Quickbread
12-23-2011, 02:31 AM
Hell yes, I'd quit. And hopefully write another book that would garner just as much.

For stimulation and interaction, instead of work, I'd rather volunteer, take classes, learn a new language or two and travel. Plus managing a million dollars well is a part-time job at least. I'm sure I'd keep busy. :)

scarletpeaches
12-23-2011, 02:33 AM
I think it would be selfish to stay in a job if offered that much money.

If you want to carry on working, do voluntary work. Leave the wage-earning job for someone who needs it.

Tepelus
12-23-2011, 03:17 AM
At the drop of a hat, yes, I would quit my low-paying, no benefit crap job cleaning up other people's messes and concentrate on my creative side to keep the income rolling, and in the meantime live meagerly because I know that money won't last forever. But the boyfriend needs to keep working, if only to keep him out of the house while I write/draw/paint.

ohthatmomagain
12-23-2011, 03:43 AM
Rebelling: You're doing it wrong.

;)

I need rebelling lessons ;)

buz
12-23-2011, 04:21 AM
No. I'd spend the million dollars on inflatable bungee runs and making a house made out of shark tanks and going to Bhutan and learning to snowboard out of helicopters in Antarctica and donating craploads of money to wildlife charities, then I'd keep working.

...Seriously, though, I'd keep doing something similar to what I'm doing, either as a volunteer and/or with fewer hours or something. It's a physical-ish job with animals, and if I left...a) I'd miss the animals, and b) I would become seriously overweight in a matter of months, because I eat an obscene amount of baked goods.

It is repetitive and boring though, and I wish I could have time and money to do some other things to switch it up...so. :) A healthy mix of bungee runs and manual labor, I suppose.

Ken
12-23-2011, 04:45 AM
... writing is a job when you're making a living from it. So it wouldn't really be like quitting your job, but getting a new one. People do that all the time when better opportunities arise. So there isn't actually anything radical about it at all.

Al Stevens
12-23-2011, 05:18 AM
Writing was my day job. I wouldn't have given up my night job, though, which was playing the piano in saloons.

Manuel Royal
12-23-2011, 07:56 AM
God, yes.

Of course, first I'd have to obtain the day job so I could quit it. Been jobhunting almost three years now. (The only hopeful sign is that my writing income has been increasing each year.)

BenPanced
12-23-2011, 08:12 AM
I'd quit the day job and not worry about contact with the outside world in the least. Yeah, I'd probably go out once in a while to get coffee or something but I'd be fine writing at home.

PEBKAC
12-23-2011, 12:13 PM
No. The benefits, particular the health insurance, are golden handcuffs. Five mil and you have a deal :)

Ken
12-23-2011, 03:15 PM
... writers are always making so much about health benefits. Sure they're important, and fortunately I've got them. But if one has the money they can get coverage on their own. You can get a great policy for a thousand a month, which adds up to 12K a year or a good policy for a few grand less. Sure that's a lot, but it isn't a fortune or impossible sum.

Atlantis
12-23-2011, 03:23 PM
I don't know if I want to be a writer full time. I take a long time to finish anything and I don't know if I could work under pressure. I think it would suck up all my creative juices and I'll end up hating writing and getting nothing done. I would happily switch to part time work and work on writing half the week though. I think that might be a nice mix. As for would I quit my current job...yes. In a heart beat. I constantly day dream about it. But in my day dreams I quit to become a full time university student and finish my writing degree so I can one day teach writing :)

Atlantis
12-23-2011, 03:25 PM
... writers are always making so much about health benefits. Sure they're important, and fortunately I've got them. But if one has the money they can get coverage on their own. You can get a great policy for a thousand a month, which adds up to 12K a year or a good policy for a few grand less. Sure that's a lot, but it isn't a fortune or impossible sum.

Wow that's alot. I pay $30 a month for my health insurance.

Marian Perera
12-23-2011, 03:31 PM
I like working in a lab, though if writing brought in enough money I might only work three days a week at the lab.

I want to buy a condo some day, though, so I'll need all the money I can get for that.

swvaughn
12-23-2011, 03:54 PM
In a word...

Fuckyes.

Ken
12-23-2011, 03:59 PM
As for would I quit my current job...yes. In a heart beat. I constantly day dream about it. But in my day dreams I quit to become a full time university student and finish my writing degree so I can one day teach writing :)

... yeah. Going back to school would be cool. If I could quit my job and write I'd probably take some classes as well. Mathematics maybe? Always liked the subject.

LindaJeanne
12-23-2011, 04:15 PM
Wow that's alot. I pay $30 a month for my health insurance.
I'm going to guess that you are either:
1. Purchasing it through your full-time employer or
2. Not in the United States

The US system screws over anyone who doesn't have a corporate employer, (whether through choice or through inability to find a full-time job).

Trying to buy health insurance in the U.S. by means OTHER than through an employer is either extremely expensive (if you are healthy), or outright impossible (if you have any sort of health condition, on medication long-term, etc.).

buz
12-23-2011, 04:57 PM
writers are always making so much about health benefits. Sure they're important, and fortunately I've got them. But if one has the money they can get coverage on their own. You can get a great policy for a thousand a month, which adds up to 12K a year or a good policy for a few grand less. Sure that's a lot, but it isn't a fortune or impossible sum. Where's that damn jaw-drop emoticon...

(Just assume that my mouth went slightly agape just now)

12K is somewhere around 75% of my annual salary. To some of us...it's a pretty impossible sum for insurance.

Key phrase is "if one has the money" ;)

Friendly Frog
12-23-2011, 05:32 PM
I wouldn't quite my job if somebody offered me a million for my next book. But mostly because I work in the family business and quitting would leave my family in a lurch.

But I would make some changes in how my life is structured. Much more time would have to go to writing, because I doubt that million is going hang around for a decade or so since that is how long it would take me to write a book in my usual writing-pace.

I'd also have to learn how to write a book... That would require some effort for this hobbyist short story writer.

Manuel Royal
12-23-2011, 07:41 PM
The US system screws over anyone who doesn't have a corporate employer, (whether through choice or through inability to find a full-time job).

Trying to buy health insurance in the U.S. by means OTHER than through an employer is either extremely expensive (if you are healthy), or outright impossible (if you have any sort of health condition, on medication long-term, etc.).Yep; if you lose your job (in the U.S.) you're supposed to magically come up with an extra several hundred a month to continue your health coverage via COBRA (for a limited time). No money because you're out of work? SOL.

I've been uninsured for a long time. And even if I had money, I don't think anybody'd sell me a policy now because of pre-existing conditions. (There are provisions of Obamacare that change that, but they don't go into effect for a couple more years.)

Storm Surge
12-23-2011, 08:03 PM
If I had a job, I'd probably quit. Unless it was something of pure awesome that I loved... but that's kind of unlikely.


Trying to buy health insurance in the U.S. by means OTHER than through an employer is either extremely expensive (if you are healthy), or outright impossible (if you have any sort of health condition, on medication long-term, etc.).

What really got me after my dad lost his job and we had to find insurance elsewhere was that the companies treated all medical conditions the same. If you had anything at all, your costs went up insanely. My mom expected her's to cost a lot. She had cancer years ago. I cost as much as she did. I've got asthma.

AlwaysJuly
12-23-2011, 08:36 PM
Inspired by a different thread . . .

So, say you are offered a 1 million [£ or $] contract for your next book, would you give up the day job to become a full-time writer?

In a minute. Right now I'm planning to go back to grad school for a career that's about as important to me as being a writer. But now, not so much.

Snitchcat
12-23-2011, 09:09 PM
No. I wouldn't quit my day-job -- I need the social interaction, the change of envrionment and the unique challenges this job offers. Writing full-time? I've tried it. It's not for me. I love it, but knowing myself well, I need the variety -- the more the better. And my writing also benefits from it. Isolation is detrimental for me.

Oh, and if it's just a million? How long will that last? Not long enough here -- most of it would vanish into payments for various necessities. The remainder? Spent on nothing or part of it will be invested, the rest saved.

Heh. :)

COchick
12-23-2011, 09:18 PM
I only work a very few hours a week, so I probably wouldn't give it up. My main job is to raise my kids...and I don't think I'd be able to give that one up. *wink*

areteus
12-23-2011, 10:14 PM
Health insurance? Hmmm, yeah, about that... it sort of comes with the income tax and national insurance for us :)

Besides, I've been reliably informed that I may be on my Wife's cover for her work... assuming what I need it for is not related to either of my prexistings...

This is why it was good to have a left wing government early last century... :)

The Lonely One
12-23-2011, 10:24 PM
Day job? What's a day job? :crazy:

PEBKAC
12-23-2011, 11:01 PM
... writers are always making so much about health benefits. Sure they're important, and fortunately I've got them. But if one has the money they can get coverage on their own. You can get a great policy for a thousand a month, which adds up to 12K a year or a good policy for a few grand less. Sure that's a lot, but it isn't a fortune or impossible sum.

My insurance, would cost around 1800 a month for a family of four in good health. Given the pre-existing conditions I wouldn't be able to get the same coverage I have through my employer at all. Not even close. Watching my Aunt die from cancer was a big eye opener.

scarletpeaches
12-23-2011, 11:18 PM
This thread makes me wonder why so many people are anti-socialised healthcare.

The Lonely One
12-24-2011, 01:24 AM
This thread makes me wonder why so many people are anti-socialised healthcare.

Because Obama...the government...France would be speaking German if it weren't for...old people...


'MER'CA!

LindaJeanne
12-24-2011, 01:37 AM
This thread makes me wonder why so many people are anti-socialised healthcare.
There are quite a few of us who do want some sort of health-care reform.

I had more to say on this, but thought better of injecting that level of political opinion into this thread.

Manuel Royal
12-25-2011, 10:58 PM
Health insurance? Hmmm, yeah, about that... it sort of comes with the income tax and national insurance for us :)I suffered my only major injury while on vacation in the UK. The folks at Blackburn Royal Infirmary took very nice care of me without ever saying, "How are you going to pay for this?" (or, apparently, caring that I wasn't a British national). If we had NHS here, I'd be happy to pay taxes for it (soon as I got a job).

Kitty27
12-26-2011, 02:11 AM
Yes.

I would be one happy writer. Working two jobs,being a mom and the thousand things that come with both leave me very little time to write.

To be able to write full time and sit on my behind in a fully equipped BatCave like study would be the stuff of dreams.

Excuse me while I weep quietly.

areteus
12-26-2011, 02:44 AM
This thread makes me wonder why so many people are anti-socialised healthcare.

I think all British think that... but we are used to it. I remember the big internet debates about it and these points stood out to me:

- Many Americans saw it as a start of a slippery slope into the thrice accursed curse of Communism. And that means you get McCarthy turning in his grave (though the side effects of that is you could probably fasten a dynamo to his coffin and generate enough power to possibly keep the eastern seaboard lit for a few years).
- Many British people are happy to diss the NHS for all its many faults and foibles but woe betide any foreigner, especially a bunch of former colonists who went rogue, who dares to speak out against such a fine institution. Dare to diss OUR NHS and you shall feel the wrath (and that is wrath pronounced WROTH!) of the British Empire in as many rabid forum and blog posts as we can be arsed to write in the 30 minutes we feel upset by it...

Cos, you know, its our NHS and only we are allowed to say how shit it is...

There should probably be a British sense of humour emoticon in here somewhere but I am too tipsy to find it... :)

scarletpeaches
12-26-2011, 03:35 AM
:brit:

DancingMaenid
12-26-2011, 03:46 AM
I've known for a while now that I really don't want to make fiction writing a job. It's something I do for fun, because I'm passionate about it. I'd love to have more of my stuff published, but it's not a priority for me and it's not a career goal. I'm sure I'd take the contract, but I wouldn't use it as a chance to change career plans.

I would love to make a career out of my writing interest and ability, but not as an author.

heyjude
12-26-2011, 04:07 PM
I don't have a normal, x-hours-a-week, paying day job, but between being a SAHM and working at the church I keep busy. I wouldn't want to miss a minute of either of those things.

Carrie in PA
12-27-2011, 06:19 AM
Oh, hell yes.

LindaJeanne
12-27-2011, 05:34 PM
I've been surprised by some of these answers - I hadn't realised how many people enjoy their day jobs.
Keep in mind the self-selection bias: this is a publicly viewable forum, and even those with anonymous handles may not be all that anonymous.

I think I'd go stir-crazy writing full-time; I'm in no hurry to give up my "day" job -- but if I were, I wouldn't announce it here.

bettielee
12-27-2011, 05:41 PM
In a New York Second.

And those are quick. From what I understand.

These Mean Streets
12-27-2011, 05:42 PM
I've thought about it but I don't think I could so easily give up a life of crime.

crunchyblanket
12-27-2011, 10:32 PM
I don't know. I like doing science. Maybe I'd go part time.

BlossomQueen
12-28-2011, 05:05 AM
I'd do something, like go to university. I can write with nothing else to do, but five hours will probably go by before I finally write something substantial. You know, too much to do/brainstorm/look at online clothing stores for... :)

latourdumoine
12-28-2011, 05:39 AM
I like teaching and something I started on a "substitute" basis over the spring. I would definitely volunteer more as a teacher though (something I've always dreamed of doing). As for the other stuff, I've come to really appreciate "mindless" tasks such as inputting basic administrative files, selling 500+ things in one go with nothing in between, anything really that focuses the mind on the task ahead and blocks everything else out. In a weird sort of way it's like meditation to me, and Lord knows, I really need it.

I tend to write outside of the home, in public spaces, more than at home, so I can still socialize and see my friends while they work. But I started tutoring when I was fourteen, and even though I wasn't always willing to admit it, I do love teaching and interacting with students.

ebennet68
12-28-2011, 07:00 AM
I love my day job. (I am a first grade teacher) I love writing too. Decisions, decisions. I'd love the chance to give full time writing a go if I could.

timewaster
12-28-2011, 04:13 PM
[QUOTE=Wiskel;6842787]Not immediately.

To answer in the spirit of the question, if I had a secure income from writing then I would want to step away from the management structures around my work but not from the work itself. I'd find a way to work for a charity or organisation involved in mental health work instead of the NHS. Having the flexibility of another income would allow me to do that on my terms without worrying about money.

Practically, With one big paycheck i'd cut down my hours to allow more time to write but i'd want to see a regular income over a few years before i'd risk giving up my salary and pension plan.

Just to say that there is no such thing as secure income from writing unless you hit it so big that your next book is always going to sell well - maybe JK Rowling falls into that category but barely anyone else.
It is a job without any security at all: you are only as good as your last sales figures.

aadams73
12-28-2011, 07:16 PM
I did.

Now I have time to pursue other things that make my life fuller and happier. And I pay my own health insurance, which isn't horrible.

Any job is a risk. There's no such thing as real job security anywhere. So it's worth it to me to be doing something I love.

thethinker42
12-28-2011, 07:41 PM
Inspired by a different thread . . .

So, say you are offered a 1 million [£ or $] contract for your next book, would you give up the day job to become a full-time writer?

If I were to be successful for the day job I'm applying for right now, I would answer no.

1. It's as much as a dream job, as having my novel published is.

I wasn't offered a huge contract or anything (*le sigh* a girl can dream...), but in 2008, my circumstances arranged themselves in a way that basically came down to "well, I guess I'll write full-time." My husband and I had moved overseas, and there were very, very few jobs available for spouses. He made enough to support us and pay the mortgage from the house we'd left in the States, so he said, "Well, you've wanted to take 6-12 months off and try writing full-time. Now you have three years." (Why yes, he IS a keeper :D)

So I started writing. It took a year or so for the money to start trickling in, and during the third year, I had a solid enough income that when we moved back to the States last month, I could continue writing full-time.

One of the major perks was that this was the first time we'd relocated for the military and I didn't have to quit my job. There's nothing quite like losing one paycheck right before moving cross-country or overseas. >.< Trust me, even when the military's paying for most of it, it still drains the bank account. This move put a bit of a dent in my productivity for about two months, but I still have a job and still have paychecks coming in. Huge plus when you move every 3-4 years.

Would I do it all again? In a heartbeat. After three years of writing for hours and hours almost every day, I have never once thought, "you know, I could really be doing something else..." I go through periods of burn-out, and have learned how to recharge and recover from those. I get stressed over deadlines. I sometimes get in over my head with commitments, deadlines, etc. But would I trade it for anything? Absolutely not.


2. I need the contact with the outside world to write well.

3. I need to be exposed to ideas etc, to write my historical novels. It's very rare for me to come up with ideas from the history books alone.

I've actually found that I get more stimulating outside world contact now than when I had a day job. Back then, I would go to my mind-numbing job, spend 8-10 hours making someone else rich, then come home and vegetate for the evening because I just had no energy left (physical or mental). I related far, far too well to Peter in Office Space.

Writing full-time has given me more flexibility with my schedule as well as leaving me with more energy from day to day so I can travel, spend time with friends, read/research, etc. There are some periods where I'm nose-to-the-grindstone for days at a time (usually when there's a deadline involved), but even then I can say "Okay, I'm getting nowhere. I need to recharge a little. Taking the afternoon off and going to a museum."

I can definitely understand why someone might not want to do this full-time, but for me? It's heaven. The perfect job for me, especially since we move around a lot.

And maybe someday that million-dollar contract will come along.

(Shut up, a girl can dream...)

Lunatique
12-28-2011, 07:45 PM
Absolutely. I'd much rather be writing fiction for a living. One million dollars is nothing to sneeze at--you can be smart and invest a big part of it and let it generate more income. It could even lead you to never having to "work" for money and can just write for the love of writing.

There's no other "job" out there I'd pick over writing fiction, since they all involve a lot more complication even if they're fun. I'm done with complications at this point in my life--I just want a quiet life.

Jcomp
12-28-2011, 09:41 PM
Hell yeah. In a blink.

Shadow_Ferret
12-28-2011, 10:27 PM
Someone offer me a million for my novel? I'd think it was a scam and tell them to go pound sand.

That said, I'm a low paid federal emPloyee. Sure I'd quit. I could live on a million for the rest of my life. But I think I'd take that money and see if I couldn't make a career change, go back to school, and become tha veteranarian I always wanted to be.

Phaeal
12-28-2011, 10:34 PM
Because Obama...the government...France would be speaking German if it weren't for...old people...


'MER'CA!

OMG, I thought you were just applying to MFA programs, not running for the Republican nomination!

Good luck in Iowa!

Phaeal
12-28-2011, 10:41 PM
Oh, and I'd keep my job. There aren't many part-time positions that provide high-end health and dental (family!) and a decent pension/retirement savings plan. Plus our hospital has a beautiful campus and lots of cool people.

My extravagance (after paying off the mortgage and buying the weekend house in Cape Cod) would be to hire a housekeeper and lawn service. That way I wouldn't have to waste any time doing the stuff I REALLY don't like. And I'd be helping the economy. Damn, I'm a saint. :D

Windcutter
12-29-2011, 12:31 AM
I'd like to keep a part time job that would involve working for 2 days a week or so and interacting with people. Except I can't even think of such a job... beyond maybe a bartender or something like that.

I must admit I'm envious of people who love their jobs. I wish I were that passionate. To me, a job was never anything more than giving away hours of my time in exchange for some money.

Lunatique
12-29-2011, 03:59 AM
I don't quite understand why some want to keep jobs just for the sake of interacting with people. It's possible to go out and socialize with people without being tied to a job where you are forced to keep a schedule and being told what to do? I mean, there are clubs you can join, friends and family to hang out with, volunteer work you can do, or join local writer's groups. You can also travel too.

As for medical insurance, with a million dollars, you can pay for your own medical insurance. If you invest that money wisely, just the interest alone will cover your medical insurance, or even all of your expenses if you live a very modest lifestyle.

I guess it's a difference in outlook in life and personality. I came from a broken home, so that probably shaped a lot of my outlook in life, where I could't depend on others for love and support and a sense of belonging. I've been a lone wolf my whole life, and if it wasn't for my wife, I'd still be a lone wolf. It's a good thing that both of us are homebodies--we just keep to ourselves.

I'm one of those people who always preferred to do "my own thing" instead of "working for the man," and I've had that mentality ever since puberty, when I decided I wanted to be an artist, writer, composer, and director. Those creative passions are my identity, my sanctuary, my playground, my dream, my sense of self-worth, and my focus in life. Even the full-time office jobs I've had were creative ones in the entertainment industry (video games, film/TV/animation production), and they still felt like "working for the man" to me because they weren't "my" babies that I worked on--they were other people's ideas I was paid to bring to life.

I've had "normal jobs" too like sales/retail when creative jobs were scarce, but they always felt like nothing more than a way to pay the bills. I really don't know what I'd do if I didn't have my creative passions.

timewaster
12-29-2011, 09:00 PM
I've been surprised by some of these answers - I hadn't realised how many people enjoy their day jobs.

I wait for the day I can give mine up. And it's not as if I have a really hateful job. As far as office jobs go, this has been the best one I've had, by far. It's just not what I want to be doing - all I ever really saw myself doing in life, from being very young - was writing.


I find it really difficult fitting all the writing, promoting, and other daily life stuff in around the day job. I keep thinking I'd get a whole lot more written if I could write all day every day.


I wouldn't bet on it. I teach a little but haven't really had a day job for years. In so far as I have a job at all it is as a writer and I am remarkably unproductive most of the time. I achieve much more when I'm under time pressure. I still don't write every day and I think those with other jobs are much more disciplined and earn decent money too.

thethinker42
12-29-2011, 09:22 PM
I wouldn't bet on it. I teach a little but haven't really had a day job for years. In so far as I have a job at all it is as a writer and I am remarkably unproductive most of the time. I achieve much more when I'm under time pressure. I still don't write every day and I think those with other jobs are much more disciplined and earn decent money too.

Depends on the person. I was always secretly afraid that if I ever got the opportunity to write full-time, I'd squander it. Procrastinate, screw off, never finish anything, etc. I am the Queen of Not Finishing Stuff and the Undisputed Overlord of All Things Procrastination(tm).

But when the opportunity came, I put my nose to the grindstone, kept it there, and have never looked back. I knew the opportunity was a finite one -- I had until we transferred stateside to get published and establish an income -- so I refused to let myself piss it away. A deadline of sorts, I suppose. Point being, writing requires significant amounts of self-discipline, and at least for some of us, just being *able* to write is motivation enough to cultivate that self-discipline. The fear of having to go back to a day job (*shudder*) is more than enough to keep me burning the midnight oil and working my fingers to the bone 5-6 days a week.

timewaster
12-29-2011, 09:43 PM
[QUOTE=thethinker42;6860719]Depends on the person. I was always secretly afraid that if I ever got the opportunity to write full-time, I'd squander it. Procrastinate, screw off, never finish anything, etc. I am the Queen of Not Finishing Stuff and the Undisputed Overlord of All Things Procrastination(tm).

But when the opportunity came, I put my nose to the grindstone, kept it there, and have never looked back.

Good for you. I always regarded writing as a flexible part time job while bringing up kids. I usually write a novel and a bit a year but waste a lot of time. I could certainly be a lot more productive, but it is quite difficult to shift gears. Having time is less significant than having the right mental attitude. If you want to write you will and if you don't - well no amount of time will make it happen.

AlishaS
12-30-2011, 01:29 AM
Well, as it were I don't have a day job so to speak. I'm a stay at home mom...

So, if I were offered a contract for a million... well, I'd actually go out and find some sort of fun, part time job since I wouldn't have to worry about childcare costs, and I wouldn't feel bad about sending my little man to day care or something for a day or two a week so I could focus even more on writing.

skylark
12-30-2011, 02:10 AM
Heck no. I've tried sitting at home on my own working at the computer. I did it for a decade.

I went back into the office as soon as my youngest went to school, even though it means an hour a day travelling. There's a huge difference between having to go out to socialise and being able to go grumble for a minute or so with a co-worker sitting in the next office.

silentpoet
01-01-2012, 08:34 AM
I might keep part of my day job. I get to hang out with an interesting 89 year old guy. But that is only for 6 hours a week, so it wouldn't be that hard to do.

What I hate about working a "day" job is having to be there when they say I have to be there. What writing gives is more freedom, even if it calls for more discipline. I think I would quit my night job, which is my full time job. 12 hour shifts do not agree with me at this point in my life.

thethinker42
01-01-2012, 08:38 AM
What I hate about working a "day" job is having to be there when they say I have to be there. What writing gives is more freedom, even if it calls for more discipline.

Agreed! I always had a knack for getting day jobs that required me to get up absurdly early and drive when everyone and their mother was also trying to drive. Those two things were among the most miserable aspects of a day job for me, and are easily among the biggest motivators for me to do everything in my power NOT to have to go back to a day job.

2011's dreamer
01-02-2012, 02:16 AM
I don't quite understand why some want to keep jobs just for the sake of interacting with people. It's possible to go out and socialize with people without being tied to a job where you are forced to keep a schedule and being told what to do? I mean, there are clubs you can join, friends and family to hang out with, volunteer work you can do, or join local writer's groups. You can also travel too.

Pretty much said what I was gon say. Just because you'd get to write full-time doesn't mean you'd end up chained to a computer 24/7. You're allowed to go outside, see the world, and meet people, old and new. I'm sure you can still see or talk to your co-workers, if you're close with any of them and not creepy. lmao.

As for me, I'm probably 'bout to sound real arrogant, but here goes.

I work in retail, at a place where I can't even work the job I was hired for because I'm constantly being dragged away to either help unload freight with unloaders or ring up customers with cashiers. Because this company doesn't wanna hire enough people, they try to make one person work several different jobs despite the differences in pay. For example, with the real job I'm supposed to be doing, I make more than a cashier, but less than an unloader, yet because of "teamwork", I need to act as all three, sometimes on the same day. A few days ago, I nearly flipped out on a manager, forgettin I'm supposed to "obey orders."

So, if by some miracle I was somehow offered a million dollar contract for the stories I write, I'm done. I'm outta there. I wouldn't even put in my two weeks or call to tell them I quit.

Only real concern after that, like AndreaGS said, is if my followin novels could make just as much money. It would suck to quit my job like that, then have to come crawlin back like a little bitch, even if I hate it.

Sydneyd
01-02-2012, 02:20 AM
So freaking fast you would see a trail of cartoon dust behind me.

Ton Lew Lepsnaci
01-02-2012, 02:38 AM
Not a chance. I love my day job (most of the time). I agree with Neurofizz, the more mistresses in the nature of fulfilling occupations the better :) I'd use the money to get rid of tasks not related to the day job, repairs to the house, keeping the wilderness at bay from the garden, etc etc

Lunatique
01-02-2012, 09:15 AM
Pretty much said what I was gon say. Just because you'd get to write full-time doesn't mean you'd end up chained to a computer 24/7. You're allowed to go outside, see the world, and meet people, old and new. I'm sure you can still see or talk to your co-workers, if you're close with any of them and not creepy. lmao.
.

Also, I always thought it would be really cool if you just packed a suitcase/backpack and your laptop, and then go traveling everywhere while writing your novel. Writers need the least amount of "equipment" compared to other creative people--a laptop is all we need. We can go anywhere and write.

Imagine yourself anywhere in the world while typing on your laptop: A little village somewhere in Europe; on an island beach; in a noodle shop in Asia--possibilities are endless.

Obviously, this is not something everyone can do, depending on if you have a family to take care of.

Catalyn
01-02-2012, 02:53 PM
This has been an interesting thread to read, because this year I am giving up the day job. :) Well sort of anyway - I'm doing some freelance work and keeping a part time job for 2 or 3 days a week just to keep some guaranteed income coming in each month.

I chose to give it up because of the particular work I do. I am in the office for fairly long hours, and on top of that most weeks I have work that I need to do in my own time, during the evenings and weekends. I've only been in this particular job for a year, and though it's very rewarding it's also completely draining me. Writing time has been almost non-existent, as by the time I get home and finish everything I need to do, I don't even feel mentally competent to turn the computer on....

Financially, things may be tough for a while, which is why I'm keeping hold of a part time job for now. I am also very lucky that I'm qualified in two separate fields in which I will be able to find work easily (lots of demand for both in the UK), so if it doesn't pan out I'm reasonably confident I can get back into full time employment.

Course, if I had a million dollars/pounds, the whole part time thing would go out the window as well. :D

rainsmom
01-02-2012, 11:30 PM
Sadly, $1M wouldn't do much for me.

$1M - 15% = $850K

$850K is likely split into 3 payments spread out over a couple of years. So $283K per payment.

Lose half to taxes right away. So $141.5K per payment.

That's nice money. But it's not much more than my annual salary now, and it would be only a few payments. My annual salary has the benefit of coming regularly. Yeah, it could replace my salary for 3 years or so, but then what? What if the next book doesn't get a $1M advance? No guarantee I would get my job back or make this salary at the next one.

I'd rather put the money towards retirement (or a retirement home).

Lunatique
01-03-2012, 07:23 AM
Sadly, $1M wouldn't do much for me.

$1M - 15% = $850K

$850K is likely split into 3 payments spread out over a couple of years. So $283K per payment.

Lose half to taxes right away. So $141.5K per payment.

That's nice money. But it's not much more than my annual salary now, and it would be only a few payments. My annual salary has the benefit of coming regularly. Yeah, it could replace my salary for 3 years or so, but then what? What if the next book doesn't get a $1M advance? No guarantee I would get my job back or make this salary at the next one.

I'd rather put the money towards retirement (or a retirement home).

When you put it like that, the 1 million dollar book deal all of a sudden seems quite unremarkable and boring.

But I totally get it. You're bringing the fantasy down to reality level, which is what we'd all have to do if the fantasy ever becomes real.

I guess how much each person is currently making annually is a big factor too. Those who are making 6 figures will be a lot less likely to quit their jobs, but those who are making far less would be tempted, because that 1 million, even after taxes, will be able to sustain them for many years, and in those years, they can write, write, write and try to build up their audience and thus have a solid writing career when the 1 million runs out.