working writer…

I got a job.

I hate that I had to get a job.

The writer’s dream is to be able to support one self with the money made by…well, writing.

The writing I was doing was not paying the bills, so I got a day job.

And I’ve had to take the past few months to come to terms with this idea. At first, I went ahead and jumped off the deep end of reason. Since I couldn’t make it as a writer, couldn’t make a livable wage as a writer, it was evident I must quit writing. So I viewed the day before I started my job as the last time I would ever write again.

If you’ve been reading the ‘ol blog here for a while, you know that none of that is true.

Of course, I knew it too.

So I just had to make a few adjustments to my attitude and figure out how to fit this new life in with my old ideals and blah blah blah.

There has definitely been an adjustment period. For everyone under my roof. For myself. For schedules. For meal planning. Hell, even the dog doesn’t understand what’s going on.

But good news…

I found my way back to writing this past week. Thanks to some amazing friends and one comment in general. I went to coffee with a friend and she asked how I was doing. No, that’s not quite, right. She asked if I liked the job. I broke down and cried my ‘woe is me crocodile tears’ (which is ridiculous because I have a job when so many people are looking for a job and also insert other worldly problems here…this is not something to cry over.) but I digress. Cry I did. Most of my tears were for the writer who wasn’t good enough so I decided the only thing to do would be to stifle that voice.

This friend sat back as I cried and said, “Oh thank God!”

What? Was she really happy that I was miserable?

Actually, yes, she was. She went on to explain, if this job made me happy, really made me fulfilled, then it was a good sign I wasn’t a writer at heart. The fact that I was having so much apprehension and resistance was a clear sign, the writer was still top dog.

So I let that marinate.

Then I started writing again.

Actually, I started reading about writers and day jobs.

And I read about JK Rowling. And Anne Rice. And I forgot about Stephen King and Frank McCourt and Toni Morrison and Madeline L’Engle.

They all had day jobs, a lot of them were teachers, and as the daughter of a teacher, I know how much free time they were lacking in that line of work. Not to mention most of those folks were married with kids.

So how did they do it?

They were writers and it was what they did.

I’m a writer. Because even though I tried to pretend to suffocate that part of myself. To give up. To make excuses. I added a forty-hour work week to my life and still managed to come back to the daily routine of writing this past week.

How is this going to work? Having a day job and writing?

It just is.

That probably isn’t the most insightful of answers, and I’m sure I could go deeper into the psychology and plan of it all. But the plain simple truth is that with each passing phase of my life, from single-dom to married. From childless to motherhood. From holidays to visitors. I’ve always made time for writing. This new phase of my life is no different.

So how to boil down the how to of writing while holding down a day job and all the other accoutrement of having a family and house?

You write.

Every. Damn. Day.



  • Brenda Sharp

    Well its about damn time you believed what I already knew…the daughter, the writer, got a job. The daughter the writer must write to be the truly best self she can be for herself, her family…her dog.

  • Jin

    Last night, I just thought about you and looking your new post.
    It will get better, and this job will give you more stories you can tell.

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