It seems just about every aspiring author dreams of quitting their day job to work full-time. I often find myself daydreaming about some ideal life in the future when I spend my days reading and writing books. When I really think about it, though, I don’t imagine I’d ever quit my job just because I could support myself with writing. The fact is, I like my job, and I’m not going to give up the economic security it provides unless I’m certain I can do away with being employed altogether. So, yes, if I become a NYT bestselling author making millions off my books, I’ll quit my job. Otherwise, I’d rather stay at job with people and work that I like than give the full-time writer thing a go only to end up at a job I might not like so much a year later.
I’m also not convinced that the full-time writer gig would actually be as awesome as it seems in my daydreams. I was unemployed for two years and, while I only stayed sane in that time thanks to easy access to my local library, I did not get my book written. Not even close. Maybe it was because being unemployed really does a number on your confidence, and I was too busy being insecure and hating myself to be able to write, but perhaps as well I simply write better when I have limited time. Justine Larbalestier has an old post on her blog that suggests that many authors have such experiences. If I like my job, and it makes me a better writer, then it would be foolish to give it up to write full-time.
What about you? Would you quit your day job to write? Under what circumstances? Or have you done so already?