PDA

View Full Version : Writing full-time. Do I need to be talked down off this ledge?



Beachgirl
11-22-2012, 06:41 AM
I found out I will be joining the ranks of the unemployed at the end of next month and I'm seriously thinking about writing full-time. Jobs in my field are few and far between right now, so prospects of finding something are slim. My current job has also been so stressful over the last year that my husband has been seriously worried about my health - not to mention my sanity.

I've written four books in the last six months and I'm thinking if I were to write full-time I could increase my output significantly. It won't replace my current income anytime in the near future and things will be "beans and weenies" tight, but I'm seriously thinking about giving it a go. It's just really scary to take that leap and commit. I'm having a hard time believing I'm even considering it, but as long as hubby's supporting, should I just go ahead and take the plunge?

Susan Littlefield
11-22-2012, 06:50 AM
Beachgirl,

This is a decision only you can make. I wish you the best in whatever you decide to do. :)

Beachgirl
11-22-2012, 07:00 AM
This is a decision only you can make.

Yeah, I know. I'm just so emotionally wrapped up in the whole job-loss thing that I'm not thinking very clearly right now. I'm trying to go through the pros and cons, but I just end up having a panic attack.

Kerosene
11-22-2012, 07:04 AM
Beachgirl, like Susan said, this is all your decision.

I, for one, don't like to kill dreams. But I need to say, if your writing hasn't taken off already, it might not be worth gamble. Ya get me?

I think it's smart searching for a job, while writing. Even after you get the job, keep writing. Or, if your writing makes enough to live on, keep looking for a job (until you're certain the prospect looks good). Whatever takes off, takes off.

ETA: I'm a very cautious person. I'll take one step forward, ready to retreat at a drop of a hat.

Unimportant
11-22-2012, 07:34 AM
I found out I will be joining the ranks of the unemployed at the end of next month and I'm seriously thinking about writing full-time. Jobs in my field are few and far between right now, so prospects of finding something are slim. My current job has also been so stressful over the last year that my husband has been seriously worried about my health - not to mention my sanity.

I've written four books in the last six months and I'm thinking if I were to write full-time I could increase my output significantly. It won't replace my current income anytime in the near future and things will be "beans and weenies" tight, but I'm seriously thinking about giving it a go. It's just really scary to take that leap and commit. I'm having a hard time believing I'm even considering it, but as long as hubby's supporting, should I just go ahead and take the plunge?

Maybe compromise, and look for part time work? That would give you more writing time but not totally cut out the $. It'd let you know if more writing time equates to more/better books or not. For some people, writing full time is the way to go; for others, it's ruinous and they lose the ability to write altogether. You probably won't know till you give it a try.

Susan Littlefield
11-22-2012, 07:42 AM
Some good suggestions. When I worked part time (20-30 hours a week), I had lots of time to write. Loved it!

blacbird
11-22-2012, 07:50 AM
No. What you need is money.

caw

RedWombat
11-22-2012, 07:57 AM
I personally didn't strike out on art until I was downsized. I limped from freelance to freelance and...it worked.

But getting a part-time job was still a good idea, so that I KNEW I had money coming in, even if it was only grocery money. And a resume without gaps is helpful.

And being around other humans two or three times a week, even in retail, kept me from getting all weird and hermit-like, which may not be a problem for you, but sure was to me.

It can be helpful to ease into the lifestyle.

Beachgirl
11-22-2012, 08:04 AM
Part-time might actually be a good idea. Ive been so career-oriented for so many years that this whole idea is ground-shaking for me. I cant imagine just sitting at home, so if I could find something interesting to do part time it might actually work.

This is what I love about this fourm. Thanks for the ideas and the encouragement!

Sydneyd
11-22-2012, 08:07 AM
Yes! Do it! If you can afford it. :D

KateJJ
11-22-2012, 08:11 AM
I work 30 hours a week from home which is really awesome; I get two hours a day while the toddler naps and before my husband gets home to write. And since I can't just write all day long, I'm forced to set goals and keep a schedule. It's really ideal for me. I'd love to someday have my day job be writing fiction but until then I'll try hard to keep everything in balance.

Ms_Sassypants
11-22-2012, 08:33 AM
I'm in the same dilemma, well almost. Only thing is, I don't have any husband to support me or fall back on :(

I find that working full-time is too stressful for me to carry on writing. I did quit a job to focus on writing, then got an irresistable offer to work for the govt, took that job, then lost all ability or time to write! So much so that my book took almost 4 years to finish.

Eventually, I quit that govt job and took another. With some breathing space, I continued writing again.. but honestly, I find it a challenge to juggle a full-time job and writing.

The thing is... working full-time comes with a crapload of stress (office politics, relationships with colleagues, tempers, anxiety, fatigue from overwork, health deprivation, etc) - these takes away the calmness and serenity that are needed to write. At least in my case. If I'm worrying about something, I can't think properly, much less form coherent sentences in my writing.

Therefore, I agree with you that being unemployed would increase the chances of a better writing product - you can focus on writing and not be swayed by your boss' criticisms for the day (for example).

However, I do think that too much time on our hands makes us lazy and undisciplined. I agree with Susan and uhm, Unimportant, that working part time will help. Lots of time, less stress, still brings in the dough, and keeps a grip on the real world.

Good luck for your choice! I wish I didn't need to work too.

MsLaylaCakes
11-22-2012, 10:09 AM
The thing is... working full-time comes with a crapload of stress (office politics, relationships with colleagues, tempers, anxiety, fatigue from overwork, health deprivation, etc) - these takes away the calmness and serenity that are needed to write.

For what it's worth - I totally agree with the above. I work full-time, and for the past week my creativity is crimped due to the baggage that comes with work, and I'm so tired at the end of each day that forcing myself to write becomes a chore (given, I'm regularly scheduled for 45 hours and average around 50 per week). I wish everyday that quitting was in the cards, but its not (at least not for another 8.5 months ... but who's counting?)

That said, do I plan on leaving the workforce as soon as my contract is up? Yes, absolutely. Will it make sense financially? Not in a million years. Will I most likely end up looking for another job after this when logic and responsibility hits me over the head? Probably. Until then, I can dream :)

Anna L.
11-22-2012, 10:44 AM
I love having a part-time job. Plenty of time to write and the job gets me out of the house a bit.

Unimportant
11-22-2012, 10:58 AM
I reckon it really depends on the job (and coworkers). Some leave you drained, while others spark your creativity. And everyone's financial needs and situations are different. You have to do what works for you, and that may not be what works for anyone else.

Bloo
11-22-2012, 11:07 AM
I was talking the other day to my best friend, my Ideal Reader, and once in awhile writing partner. He was a small town principal the switched back to teaching English. He said his creative juices are much higher since he doesn't have the stress of everything that goes with being a principal.

work part-time is good advice

shaldna
11-22-2012, 02:12 PM
Honestly, I would advise against writing full time unless you have enough savings to carry you through the next two years, or are at the point where your writing income has been equal to your day job for at least a couple of years.

Writing is a slow paying gig - no matter how fast you write your book, it can take years before you see a penny earned from it.

shadowwalker
11-22-2012, 03:28 PM
Just from a practical point of view, unless you can afford to be a one-income family (and don't have to worry about meeting unemployment benefit requirements), getting a new job should be the priority. Most writers, even the published ones, still keep their day job. As a couple others mentioned, writing itself does not equal income - and definitely not immediate income.

gothicangel
11-22-2012, 03:31 PM
Okay, you've written four books in six months, BUT can you sell them? And even if you do - and quickly - can you last 18 months without a pay check.

Don't beat yourself up over unemployment, the recession is hitting everyone hard. I'm treating this an opportunity, I work part time as a chef manager while I study for a new degree.

Corussa
11-22-2012, 04:16 PM
Another thing to perhaps consider is that if you didn't seek a new job, and then your husband was also unlucky and lost his job, there would be no safety net that having two incomes creates.

I think that, as others have suggested, trying to find part-time work would be a great solution.

And congrats on writing four books in six months - I think that's amazing!

Dgullen
11-22-2012, 04:31 PM
Beachgirl, whatever you do, you -must- be realistic about what you're doing. In particular, your current income, and your writing prospects. If nothing changes, where will you be a year from now?

My lovely partner has, this month, quit the day job, and gone full time. She's got a small income from a flat she rents, and some savings. She's taking a chance.
She also has her second book out from Solaris next Feb, with a third on the way, and other things going on. It's a considered chance, writing is still not a living, but it might be. So it was either do this now, or maybe look back over the rest of her life and think, 'I wish I'd done that...'

Me - I work three days and write the rest - I still need that income, it's an absolute.

If planning for the future gives you panic attacks, now is not the time to plan. I'm all for taking chances - if it's right, go for it! Think things through calmly and carefully, and know what you're doing. If you're taking a chance, know what sort of chance you're taking.

Good luck, whatever you decide.

Shara
11-22-2012, 04:38 PM
I am married to an accountant, and my ever-practical view has been influenced by this for quite a long time.

For most people, income from writing is pretty much non-existence. A few people get lucky and manage to earn a decent living from writing, but the vast majority don't.

It's great that your husband is supportive of this, but the real question is, can you afford to live on one salary - his - for a while? If so, then by all means, go for it.

If not, or you're thinking that having more time to dedicate to writing will mean seeing more cash rolling in from it, then it's probably not the right way to go.

Shara

gothicangel
11-22-2012, 05:45 PM
Yeah, I know. I'm just so emotionally wrapped up in the whole job-loss thing that I'm not thinking very clearly right now. I'm trying to go through the pros and cons, but I just end up having a panic attack.

If you a suffering from panic attacks, you need to speak to a doctor. I suffer from an anxiety disorder, and when I suffer from panic attacks I need medication.

Beachgirl
11-22-2012, 08:22 PM
Thanks for all the great advice everyone! My job has been sucking the life out of me for awhile - working as much as 7 days and 80 hours a week - so this might be a blessing in disguise. I'm getting some decent royalties from my already-published books, so that helps. Unemployment benefits will also help for awhile. To play it safe, I'm thinking I'll apply for interesting part-time work and any full-time jobs in my field that might come along, but that won't be as stressful as the one I've had.

I guess any major life change is scary, and this one took me by complete surprise. Being Thanksgiving Day, I'm making a point to think about all the things I have to be thankful for - a supportive family, the talent to do something I love, and great folks here at AW to help me keep things in perspective!

shadowwalker
11-22-2012, 10:12 PM
Unemployment benefits will also help for awhile.

Just be aware that in Florida (I'm assuming that's where you live), you actually have to show where you've applied for work each week. If they're like Minnesota, they're very picky about it being 'suitable' employment (which may mean looking for part-time work could affect the amount of benefits, or disqualify you entirely). Just something to look at. ;)

veinglory
11-22-2012, 11:39 PM
Keep in mind that if you have a long break in employment your resume can start looking suspicious and your chance of getting future jobs may drop.

Susan Littlefield
11-22-2012, 11:44 PM
Don't forget you can look for work where you utilize your writing skills. Maybe part time with a publisher, or in an office where they need someone to write business documents. My career as a paralegal is 37.5 hours a week (that is considered full time in the legal arena), but if I didn't have my writing skills I would not have a job.

Unimportant
11-23-2012, 12:04 AM
Thanks for all the great advice everyone! My job has been sucking the life out of me for awhile - working as much as 7 days and 80 hours a week - so this might be a blessing in disguise. I'm getting some decent royalties from my already-published books, so that helps. Unemployment benefits will also help for awhile. To play it safe, I'm thinking I'll apply for interesting part-time work and any full-time jobs in my field that might come along, but that won't be as stressful as the one I've had.

I guess any major life change is scary, and this one took me by complete surprise. Being Thanksgiving Day, I'm making a point to think about all the things I have to be thankful for - a supportive family, the talent to do something I love, and great folks here at AW to help me keep things in perspective!

Good on ya for taking the time to reflect. While money is a necessity, it's not everything. Talk it over with your family -- how secure is your partner's job, can y'all survive on a single paycheck, how much money will you save if you're not working (which often entails costs for clothes, transport, daycare, etc that writing from home does not require). Will writing during the day allow you to spend nights/weekends with your partner instead of disappearing into the keyboard, and how will this affect your relationship? What will make you happiest as a person, and what will make y'all happiest as a family?

muravyets
11-23-2012, 04:13 AM
Beachgirl: Losing a job that is shortening your life through overwork and stress is a blessing in disguise. I've had it happen to me a couple of times and I've had cause to be grateful every time.

The ultimate question for you has to be, can we keep roof above head and food on table? Whatever it takes to get the necessities covered, do it, but remember what kind of a life you're trying to build. If it's one that includes writing, and your job doesn't leave you enough energy and time to write, then seek a different job. But don't stop writing if you love it.

Anyway it sounds to me like this decision might get made for you. If you are guaranteed to lose this job that's no good for you, there may very well be a lag before you replace it. If so, then fill that time with writing as well as job searching. Who knows, but you might make writing your replacement job, at least for a bit. Or not, but why not try if you're unemployed anyway?

I recently made a strategic job move for more money that I'm now regretting. I had a temp job that paid okay and maintained a great work/life balance with energy for writing as much as I wanted. But it was never going to go permanent and changes were made in the organization that made me less secure in the contract. So when an offer came along for more money and a likelihood of permanent hire, which would give me insurance benefits, I took it. Now, I have more money coming in, yes, but zero work/life balance, and a job that leaves me too physically and mentally exhausted to write or make art. I hate every minute of the day, am in a horrible mood, feel sick most of the time, and am off the rails on my writing. Plus, it turns out it's not going to go permanent any time in the foreseeable future, either. All I think about is when I should quit. I'm really thinking about going back to part time. For most of us creative types, temping and part time can be a godsend, if we can afford it.

Don't just grab for anything out of a fear of having less income. Look for a job that supports your life, rather than consumes it. Crunch the numbers with your spouse, really figure out what your needs are, and make your plans accordingly.

Goldbirch
11-23-2012, 06:55 AM
It's just really scary to take that leap and commit.

I may be missing something, but does it have to be a leap of commitment? Obviously it depends a lot on your individual situation, but could you try writing for a couple months before worrying too much about pros and cons? Given that you're leaving a stressful job, it seems reasonable to give yourself a break anyway (if that's possible). A chance to catch your breath and catch up on some sleep, if nothing else. You could maybe test how writing full-time works for you at the same time, since that can be hard to predict.

I suppose I'm really just re-phrasing what muravyets put better.


Anyway it sounds to me like this decision might get made for you. If you are guaranteed to lose this job that's no good for you, there may very well be a lag before you replace it. If so, then fill that time with writing as well as job searching. Who knows, but you might make writing your replacement job, at least for a bit. Or not, but why not try if you're unemployed anyway?

I've mostly subsisted on a string of seasonal jobs (recession generation here, though I also quite like the seasonal jobs), so I've often had gaps in between them. Some gaps were more productive writing-wise than others. And some were, ah, more stressful than others, though something always turned up in the end.

Personally, I found that putting a financial burden with a deadline on my writing wasn't a great move. It wasn't a realistic burden at the time, and it took me several years to recover my old joy in the craft. However, I've never regretted giving it a try. If my circumstances change enough to make it seem more viable, I may well try again someday. (And from what I've seen of you around AW, I'm guessing that you're already much better placed to give it a fair try than the idealistic kid that I was.)

:Hug2: In any case, good luck moving forward. I'm sure it'll work out OK whichever direction you pick, though that can be hard to remember in the moment.

Beachgirl
11-23-2012, 08:38 AM
Thanks everyone! You've all given me some great things to think about. Hubby and I have lots of talking to do and I've already made a list of things to consider from this thread. You've all made me realize that it doesn't have to be 100% one way or the other, but that maybe, just maybe, I can find the right balance and not starve to death in the process. Hugs to all of you!

dangerousbill
11-23-2012, 08:41 AM
It won't replace my current income anytime in the near future and things will be "beans and weenies" tight, but I'm seriously thinking about giving it a go. It's just really scary to take that leap and commit. I'm having a hard time believing I'm even considering it, but as long as hubby's supporting, should I just go ahead and take the plunge?

With your husband's support, the gods are smiling upon you. Write your little heart out. If it doesn't work, or you get a good job offer, you can make up our mind whether to proceed.

Manuel Royal
11-23-2012, 09:45 AM
Beachgirl, if you've written four publishable novels in six months, while working 80-hour weeks, that's nothing short of astonishing. I bet if you can get a regular 40-hour job, it'd feel like a vacation.

butterfly
11-23-2012, 03:39 PM
Well, you wrote four books in six months while working 80 hours a week and you are published. Basically, you are a success story. You obviously are committed to writing and have the discipline and a readership.

Unless you are a closet millionnaire you will eventually have to work so my suggestion is to continue to write in your additional free hours but also look for work. You may find these extra hours annoy you and because you now "have" the time rather than having to "squeeze in" the time, your writing doesn't come as easy.

Enjoy the holidays and let time direct you.

shaldna
11-23-2012, 04:41 PM
I'm getting some decent royalties from my already-published books, so that helps. Unemployment benefits will also help for awhile.


Just be aware that in Florida (I'm assuming that's where you live), you actually have to show where you've applied for work each week. If they're like Minnesota, they're very picky about it being 'suitable' employment (which may mean looking for part-time work could affect the amount of benefits, or disqualify you entirely). Just something to look at. ;)

Just wanted to address these two points. I don't know where you live, but bear in mind that any income from your books is counted as earnings and you shoudl be registered as self employed for those and paying tax. Depending on the laws in your state/country you may not actually be entitled to unemployment benefits. Also, again depending on wher eyou live, they may take your hubby's income into consideration.

In the UK a stay at home partner is not entitled to income based JSA (job seekers allowance) and if they qualify for contribution based JSA they will only get that for a max of six months and they have to go down every week and sign on, showing evidence of jobs etc that they have applied for.

But bear in mind too - if you are writing in that time with a view to publishing, then you are technically working - especially if you have been published before and are still earning of this - and so you might not be entitled to anything.

Again, you need to check with your local social security agency.

Ken
11-23-2012, 04:49 PM
... why not just give it a try and see how it is. And if it doesn't work out for whatever reason you can rejoin the ranks of us working stiffs. (One thing to consider is that the longer you're out of work the more difficult it is to get a job. So don't stay out of the loop too long if you're gonna be going back in again.) G'luck.

Phaeal
11-23-2012, 05:20 PM
I vote for the part-time job, especially if it gives you benefits. I'm lucky enough to have one of these, and I don't see quitting any time soon. The weekly income and health insurance provide peace of mind, plus it's a good thing to get out of the house and interact with those pesky character studies (ah, humans) every day.

:D

Mr. Breadcrumb
11-25-2012, 03:56 AM
This is such a personal question that none of us are likely to be able to answer it for you. We don't know the details of your financial situation. We don't know how your mind works and when unhappiness from not having enough money will surpass unhappiness from not doing what you want to be doing with the major part of your day.

But I do think one ledge that you may need to be talked off of is thinking of this like an all or nothing decision (though it does seem others have talking you off that already, but I'll add my own $.02 anyway). My dad (who is a college professor) likes to tell people that "life is remediable" and tell the story of people he knows who have, eg, gone from being successful concert musicians to tenured faculty in the sciences late in life. Certainly things can become harder or easier based on your choices, but don't let that stop you from trying. Don't let that, or fear of gaps in your resume, or fear that you'll fail be an excuse not to try different things with your life if you aren't happy with things the way they are.

If you decide you really want to be doing something else, you can always change course later. Just so long as you know it'll take hard work to do it.

So if there's going to be a gap where you're looking for a job anyway, maybe (if practical) see how it goes for a bit. Let yourself delay looking for a job a while and see how the finances feel and how it feels getting up every day and treating writing like a full time job. You might even find that once the dust settles you hate it, and then there's that answer!

Good luck whatever way things go!

Sheryl Nantus
11-25-2012, 04:20 AM
I think one question that you have to consider is the fluidity of today's book-buying public - just because *this* month you made oodles of cash doesn't mean it'll happen again *next* month.

As we've seen from many authors here their income can wildly fluctuate from month to month and it's hard to guess how much you'll make - one week might be faboo but the next two or three awful.

I'd suggest, given you say you were stressed out, allowing yourself a break from working where you do write - but set definite goals and if you don't see them in reach then going back to work. Let yourself recharge from the stressful job and go writing full-time but see where it takes you and if it's not MORE stressful writing full-time!

Best of luck and stay well!

Jamesaritchie
11-25-2012, 07:01 PM
We'll never know how many fail because they take the practical, common sense route, but the number has to be staggering. Most successful people do whatever it is they want o do most, and put everything they have into it. As Ray Bradbury said, sometimes you have to jump off a cliff and build your wings on the way down.

If you can afford to take the risk, meaning if you won't be kicked out of your place in three months, you have absolutely nothing to lose by taking the chance. You can always get a part time job later. Or a full time job a year down the line.

And gaps in employment are the norm now, and never were fatal. It never did take much imagination to fill in gaps, especially when you can legitimately put down "self-employed".

Seriously, if your hubby says go for it, you're in a better position than most who try writing full-time.

Taking chances can always backfire, and many just don't have the courage to jump off the cliff. I'd rather jump and crash than die with the memory of standing at cliff's edge, and then turning and walking away.

Bushrat
11-25-2012, 08:06 PM
If you can afford to take the risk, meaning if you won't be kicked out of your place in three months, you have absolutely nothing to lose by taking the chance. You can always get a part time job later. Or a full time job a year down the line.

Taking chances can always backfire, and many just don't have the courage to jump off the cliff. I'd rather jump and crash than die with the memory of standing at cliff's edge, and then turning and walking away.

This.

shadowwalker
11-25-2012, 09:38 PM
Taking chances can always backfire, and many just don't have the courage to jump off the cliff. I'd rather jump and crash than die with the memory of standing at cliff's edge, and then turning and walking away.

Bearing in mind it isn't always a matter of courage - when other family members are affected, courage takes a backseat to responsibilities. If the other family members are supportive, and one understands the practicalities (can make an informed decision), then of course one should at least try. But decisions like this can't be made in a vacuum.

Beachgirl
11-25-2012, 09:54 PM
I'm happy to report that I'm feeling a lot less panicky today. You have all provided some great advice, points to ponder, etc and your responses are truly appreciated!

Hubby and I have spent countless hours talking over this long weekend (way into early mornings) and decided that I will look for a full-time job, but we won't stress out if I don't find one. It would also have to be one that will trend more toward the 40-hour per week spectrum, rather than the 80-hour, pull-my-hair-out, gain-45-pounds-from-stress-eating spectrum. Applying for full-time work will also satisfy the unemployment benefit requirements here in Florida, so I can at least draw benefits for a while. However, I will also be looking for satisfying part-time work at the same time. If I happen to find something that would interest me, allow me to spend a large portion of my time writing, and still bring in some income, then great!

I am blessed in that we will not end up without a roof over our heads if I end up not working at all. We will not be living in our car. It's just really hard to think about our lifestyles changing so much after the years we spent working to get to this point. But, I look around me and see people who have gone through this - and worse - and I feel a renewed sense of gratefulness for all I do have.

So, as many of you have suggested, I'm going to look at this as an opportunity. I'm going to write, look for a job, write, work on getting healthy, write...and see where this new road takes me.

VanessaNorth
11-25-2012, 09:57 PM
Bearing in mind it isn't always a matter of courage - when other family members are affected, courage takes a backseat to responsibilities. If the other family members are supportive, and one understands the practicalities (can make an informed decision), then of course one should at least try. But decisions like this can't be made in a vacuum.

I really despise the implication that those of us who write full time are impractical, selfish, or irresponsible.

bearilou
11-25-2012, 10:24 PM
If you can afford to take the risk, meaning if you won't be kicked out of your place in three months, you have absolutely nothing to lose by taking the chance. You can always get a part time job later. Or a full time job a year down the line.

Taking chances can always backfire, and many just don't have the courage to jump off the cliff. I'd rather jump and crash than die with the memory of standing at cliff's edge, and then turning and walking away.
This.

x2

edit: nm, looks like beachgirl is in a good place. :yessmiley

Unimportant
11-25-2012, 10:39 PM
It's just really hard to think about our lifestyles changing so much after the years we spent working to get to this point.

Sometimes the changes are for the better, though. That's how it worked for me. When we both worked, my partner (the obsessed writer) spent evenings and weekends writing, so we barely saw each other. We had money but no quality time. Now, with me working full time and my partner writing full time, we have weekends and evenings together. And instead of spending hours commuting, my partner can spend that time gardening etc. So we now grow nearly all our own meat, veg, and fruit, milk our own house cow, brew our own beer, etc -- which has been an awesomely positive change in our lives!

Captcha
11-25-2012, 10:51 PM
I really despise the implication that those of us who write full time are impractical, selfish, or irresponsible.

And I was resenting the implication from the earlier post that those who do NOT write full time are cowards.

I don't know if you and I are being oversensitive or if the original posts were too judgmental, but probably we all need to remember that no one else can judge our lives or our decisions, and if they try to, we should just ignore them.

Unimportant
11-26-2012, 02:29 AM
I really despise the implication that those of us who write full time are impractical, selfish, or irresponsible.


And I was resenting the implication from the earlier post that those who do NOT write full time are cowards.


I don't think anyone here is trying to imply either one. The bare truth is that writing fiction is extremely unlikely to result in a steady paycheque. Advances and royalties are unpredictable and erratic. But most people nowadays are geared to live a lifestyle that's built around a steady paycheque. So it's only sensible to think about how not having a steady paycheque is going to affect your lifestyle before you choose to give it up, and it's only reasonable to discuss the decision with the people whose lives/finances you share.

Everyone's situation is unique, so no one can say "this worked for me and therefore it will, must, work for you." All we can do is say "This did/did not work for me; hopefully that information will be of use to you as you make your own decision."

veinglory
11-26-2012, 03:00 AM
I really despise the implication that those of us who write full time are impractical, selfish, or irresponsible.


I am not sure how you got from "think about your responsibilities" to "all full time writers are irresponsible".

Going full time is only irresponsible... when it is irresponsible (e.g. causes you to default on your obligations).

Equally, it is only brave if you are risking something.

shadowwalker
11-26-2012, 05:23 AM
I really despise the implication that those of us who write full time are impractical, selfish, or irresponsible.

Who the hell said that? :Wha:

Susan Littlefield
11-26-2012, 05:46 AM
I really despise the implication that those of us who write full time are impractical, selfish, or irresponsible.

How did you come up with that interpretation? Shadow is suggesting that such decisions need to be considered very carefully.

Susan Littlefield
11-26-2012, 05:47 AM
And I was resenting the implication from the earlier post that those who do NOT write full time are cowards.

Huh? I don't get this either.

shaldna
11-26-2012, 02:28 PM
If you can afford to take the risk, meaning if you won't be kicked out of your place in three months, you have absolutely nothing to lose by taking the chance. You can always get a part time job later. Or a full time job a year down the line.

I'm sorry, are we both existing in the same economy? Because I'm seeing 90 graduates apply for every graduate post, and some 600-800 people applying for each non-skilled post. So, don't kid yourself, the days of qualified and experienced people getting a job at the drop of a hat are long over.

I wouldn't bank on getting another job easily. This is why planning ahead and not acting recklessly is the best option. If you go full time, make sure you have the resources to see you through just incase it doesn't work and you suddenly find yourself unemployed in the middle of a recession and trying to explain to potenial employers that you quite your last job because you wanted to be a full time writer.


And gaps in employment are the norm now, and never were fatal. It never did take much imagination to fill in gaps, especially when you can legitimately put down "self-employed".

Yes and no. Gaps now are the norm - which is why you should try not have them. Keep working, keep yourself relevant to the current workplace.



I really despise the implication that those of us who write full time are impractical, selfish, or irresponsible.

No one said that, however, I would like to address your point. Those who write full time and can afford to - great. Those who can't really afford to, well that's a different story.

You do need to consider how any employement choice effects others - from income, to stability to benefits and healthcare etc.

Captcha
11-26-2012, 03:51 PM
Huh? I don't get this either.

From "Taking chances can always backfire, and many just don't have the courage to jump off the cliff."

I read that and thought that there are lots of reasons to not jump off cliffs other than lack of courage.

But like I said, I think the best way to view the debate is with an understanding that nobody else has any idea what's best for a stranger on the internet, and it's silly to listen to random judgments.

bearilou
11-26-2012, 05:20 PM
I think the best way to view the debate is with an understanding that nobody else has any idea what's best for a stranger on the internet, and it's silly to listen to random judgments.

This.

Really, all we can do is bring our own experiences to the table, illuminate a different way to consider some of the same concepts, discuss the things that went into our decisions and give the OP a sampling of different viewpoints to consider before applying to her own life and her own circumstances and then wish her well with whatever path she chooses and not be offended if she didn't do it like we thought it ought to be done.

veinglory
11-26-2012, 05:59 PM
I assure you that gaps in employment get you grilled with questions about your personal life, even in this day and age. Or maybe men are immune for that sort of thing?

Jamesaritchie
11-26-2012, 07:56 PM
I assure you that gaps in employment get you grilled with questions about your personal life, even in this day and age. Or maybe men are immune for that sort of thing?

There's only a gap if you list a gap. If you aren't smart enough to fill in that gap, you probably aren't smart enough to get the job, anyway.

Jamesaritchie
11-26-2012, 07:58 PM
From "Taking chances can always backfire, and many just don't have the courage to jump off the cliff."

I read that and thought that there are lots of reasons to not jump off cliffs other than lack of courage.

.

It's easy to find a hundred reasons not to jump off the cliff. All are good reasons. But if you want to succeed, jumping off the cliff is almost always necessary, and it's a trait of the successful.

shadowwalker
11-26-2012, 08:03 PM
There's only a gap if you list a gap. If you aren't smart enough to fill in that gap, you probably aren't smart enough to get the job, anyway.

So... lie?

Just how recently have you been looking for work? I only ask because I had the impression you were a full-time writer and had been for some time. So perhaps your advice is a bit dated?

shadowwalker
11-26-2012, 08:04 PM
But if you want to succeed, jumping off the cliff is almost always necessary, and it's a trait of the successful.

It's also a trait of the smooshed...

Mr Flibble
11-26-2012, 08:12 PM
Gaps aren't always a death knell (maybe it depends what sort of work you're looking for?), or get you grilled. I had/have a four year gap due to having ME. When I went back to work - just as the recession bit and even here jobs were hard to come by, with dozens applying for each position - I put that on the CV. Not one person had a problem with it (I got a fair few interviews inside the week, and got the first job I interviewed for)

Sheryl Nantus
11-26-2012, 08:32 PM
I'm going to write, look for a job, write, work on getting healthy, write...and see where this new road takes me.

I think this is the most important thing.

Your health has to come first. Whether you write or not, work a full-time job or not you need to be mentally and physically healthy.

Get yourself into a good place and take care.

:)

fireluxlou
11-26-2012, 09:22 PM
I'm sorry, are we both existing in the same economy? Because I'm seeing 90 graduates apply for every graduate post, and some 600-800 people applying for each non-skilled post. So, don't kid yourself, the days of qualified and experienced people getting a job at the drop of a hat are long over.

I wouldn't bank on getting another job easily. This is why planning ahead and not acting recklessly is the best option. If you go full time, make sure you have the resources to see you through just incase it doesn't work and you suddenly find yourself unemployed in the middle of a recession and trying to explain to potenial employers that you quite your last job because you wanted to be a full time writer.

Ah yes I know that feeling I found it really depressing to be unemployed it worsened my depression really, even though I had loads of free time to work on my writing. I had no income so I couldn't pay for things I needed and wanted. I stopped going to the job centre because well they generally treated me like crap and made accusations at me that I was a lowlife bum who didn't want to work.

I think the rejection after rejection for interviews of really menial jobs and not getting replies back from employers that you didn't qualify for an interview out of 400 applicants really grounded my self esteem down. Because thats what they do now. I've been employed for over a year now. and that self esteem and confidence lost I've really built back up but I was a wreck.

I got to the point where I didn't want to write. I spent 4 years unemployed because I left college in 2007 when the recession hit and then went back when I couldn't find a job. To fill the gap in unemployment I looked after my grandma and volunteered in the village hall to say that I was doing something :/

I think this will be much different for Beachgirl as she is actively pursuing unemployment as an opportunity and seems to know what she will do with it and has the means to be unemployed.

juniper
11-26-2012, 11:36 PM
Going full time is only irresponsible... when it is irresponsible (e.g. causes you to default on your obligations).

Equally, it is only brave if you are risking something.

I like the way you put this. If you have nothing to lose, then it doesn't take courage. Just the BIC.

For the OP (who has apparently come up with a solution now), she has the support of her husband and can survive without her income, so the risk is low.

For someone else, who needs the income to pay bills, the risk is much higher.

And of course that all depends on one's responsibilities - children, other family members who are dependent, housing, etc.

So while I think that listening to others' opinions can help someone see different angles, I ultimately agree with this:

Originally Posted by Captcha
I think the best way to view the debate is with an understanding that nobody else has any idea what's best for a stranger on the internet, and it's silly to listen to random judgments.

Good luck beachgirl! I hope it works out well for you.

shaldna
11-27-2012, 04:12 PM
It's easy to find a hundred reasons not to jump off the cliff. All are good reasons. But if you want to succeed, jumping off the cliff is almost always necessary, and it's a trait of the successful.

And yet, I've managed to be pretty damn successful in what I do without putting my family and my own financial security at risk.

It's all well and good to make statements like yours when you aren't, for example, the sole breadwinner with three kids, a mortgage and a powerful need to eat. By all means, take that jump. But unless you have put in place the necessary requirements to do it - ie. a great big safety net made of savings etc - then it could all backfire horribly and leave you with nothing. The business world is full of people who took the leap first and thought second.

Susan Littlefield
11-27-2012, 07:28 PM
And yet, I've managed to be pretty damn successful in what I do without putting my family and my own financial security at risk.

It's all well and good to make statements like yours when you aren't, for example, the sole breadwinner with three kids, a mortgage and a powerful need to eat. By all means, take that jump. But unless you have put in place the necessary requirements to do it - ie. a great big safety net made of savings etc - then it could all backfire horribly and leave you with nothing. The business world is full of people who took the leap first and thought second.

By the same token, for any of us, anytime we try something new doesn't it require jumping off a cliff? I'm sure before you started your adventure, you didn't know what the results were going to be. Anybody who decides to write for a living, because writing does not always provide a steady income, has stepped off a ledge by taking a chance.

Just to clarify, those of us who do not write for a living are no less or more brave than those who do write for a living.

Bushrat
11-27-2012, 07:37 PM
It's all well and good to make statements like yours when you aren't, for example, the sole breadwinner with three kids, a mortgage and a powerful need to eat. By all means, take that jump. But unless you have put in place the necessary requirements to do it - ie. a great big safety net made of savings etc - then it could all backfire horribly and leave you with nothing.

Actually, that's what he said, too:


If you can afford to take the risk, meaning if you won't be kicked out of your place in three months, you have absolutely nothing to lose by taking the chance.

veinglory
11-27-2012, 07:38 PM
There's only a gap if you list a gap. If you aren't smart enough to fill in that gap, you probably aren't smart enough to get the job, anyway.

It must be fun having an omniscient knowledge of every person's circumstances and the rules of life.

Old Hack
11-27-2012, 08:19 PM
There's only a gap if you list a gap. If you aren't smart enough to fill in that gap, you probably aren't smart enough to get the job, anyway.


So... lie?

Definitely don't lie.

I once worked at a company which employed someone who had over-stated their previous salary. When their tax records came through, their exaggerations were clear, and they were dismissed.

As my boss said at the time, you have to be able to trust your staff.

shadowwalker
11-27-2012, 09:17 PM
Definitely don't lie.

I once worked at a company which employed someone who had over-stated their previous salary. When their tax records came through, their exaggerations were clear, and they were dismissed.

As my boss said at the time, you have to be able to trust your staff.

Exactly. Employers do check things out. If you lie, they will find it. I don't know of any way not to include an employment gap short of lying. (A co-worker was recently fired after working at this place for almost a year. Reason: They discovered a lie on the application, and that 'proved' he couldn't be trusted.)

Nowadays, employers have way more applicants than openings, even for the lowest level jobs. They can afford to be extra picky and they are. Don't give them an excuse not to hire you.

Goldbirch
11-28-2012, 07:06 AM
Huh. I had thought James meant that it's possible to put something on a resume even if you weren't working.

I mean, I have gaps in employment, but I've usually structured my resume to include some brief, honest mention of how I kept busy while unemployed. This format has seemed to work well for me, by and large (w/ the caveat that I was mainly applying for low-level, seasonal jobs).

My interpretation could be way off, however. I'm now wondering if my understanding of what "gap" even means on a resume is deeply flawed.

In any case, I'm glad Beachgirl is feeling less overwhelmed. :-)