When I tell people what I do, they say, “Oh, that must be nice, doing what you love for a living!” Well, Squiders, now that I’ve worked both sides of the line, I’m here to tell you why you shouldn’t be quitting your day jobs anytime soon.
(I will preface that if you can make enough money from selling your fiction to do that full-time, more power to you. This post is not for you, you lucky bastards.)
“But, Kit,” you say, “you get to write and edit all the time. That must be awesome!”
Here was my day, Squiders. I wrote a 1000+ word article which required about three hours of research. I proofed and content edited about 30 pages of a novel. I proofed and formatted about 20 pages of a formal report. And then I got a headache from staring at the computer too much.
The problem with doing writing and editing as a job is, well, it becomes a job. I spend all my time chasing down rogue commas, and, when I finally–if I finally–get time to work on my own projects, I’m already worn out from editing and writing and I’d rather do almost anything else.
Your day job may not be your passion, but here’s some things you get out of having one:
- You can focus on something else for awhile. Your subconscious mind will work through plot issues and craft prose for you while you work, and when you get to writing, you’ll be ready to go.
- You may not get to write as often as you like, but it’s almost always a pleasure when you do.
- Steady income! Important for supplying yourself with chocolate and plot ninjas.
- Your co-workers secretly think you’re cool.
- On that note, you have co-workers (probably) and don’t have to have “water cooler” conversations with the dog.
Your brain likes to compartmentalize things. I’ve found that now, since I do all my freelance work on my desktop, it’s almost impossible to write fiction here. Believe me, your brain thanks you for letting it do other things every now and again.
Disagree, Squiders? Anyone else work in writing/editing and have any thoughts on the matter?