Would you quit your day job?

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?

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4 thoughts on “Would you quit your day job?

  1. What you say makes perfect sense. I can only say that I write much more since leaving work, but then I have a secure income which changes things considerately.

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  2. I have the same day dream that I’m going to quit my job and spend my days writing at the beach and all my books are going to become NYT best sellers and boy, won’t that be grand. But I fear the dream won’t live up to the hype. I actually wrote better when I was working with deadlines – stories written for class, columns written for a newspaper. Those kinds of things I can knock out all day long, but my book with no deadline, I’m lucky if I write 300 words in a month.

    I think I need to go back to school for my masters so I have deadlines again just to get my book written! 🙂

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    1. I’m like that, too. When I was at uni I could write a 2500-word essay in a couple of hours, but I’d never get that many words of fiction written in a day. Obviously fiction and essays are quite different, but I think the deadlines definitely increased my productivity.

      Liked by 1 person

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