Posts Tagged: day jobs
Electric Literature has an infographic of day jobs (originally posted on Adzuna) that both paid the bills and inspired writers to create some of their best work. The professions range from teacher (Stephen King, J.K. Rowling) to insurance officer (Kafka) to coffeehouse/jazz bar owner (Murakami)....more
So what happened in those eight missing years to make a well-reviewed, commercially successful author fall so far so fast? Heartbreak? Rehab? Addiction to designer shoes?
She took the wrong day job.
The conundrum of how to support yourself as a writer isn’t a new one....more
It’s no secret that writing doesn’t pay. Ann Bauer wants to talk about where the money comes from:
In my opinion, we do an enormous “let them eat cake” disservice to our community when we obfuscate the circumstances that help us write, publish and in some way succeed…I do have a huge advantage over the writer who is living paycheck to paycheck, or lonely and isolated, or dealing with a medical condition, or working a full-time job.
Writing books has become a hobby for the wealthy, writes Toby Young over at the Telegraph. Writers’ incomes have dropped 29% since 2005, he points out, and even when writers are getting paid, it’s never enough:
I wrote another book last year (What Every Parent Needs to Know), and this time I actually received a small advance.
At The Morning News, seven writers with full-time jobs talk about how they fit (or attempt to fit) writing time into their work weeks, and the general conclusion is:
There isn’t an elegant solution to cramming a writing life into a non-writing life, just like there isn’t an elegant solution to the problem of trying to push a baby elephant into a slowly rolling Volkswagen.
The arts don’t pay very well, and working as a professional in a creative field like writing, music, or film has grown more precarious. High student debt doesn’t help, but it might explain why almost a quarter of arts graduates end up in business management....more
Scott Cheshire explains that he started flirting with the woman who became his wife by telling her he had a novel coming out. Twelve years later, it did. Today, he is a published novelist with a graduate degree, but back then, Cheshire hadn’t even been to college....more
It’s sometimes hard to imagine the life of the road-tarer or the elephant waste remover. Here’s to an unsung hero the world wouldn’t be the same without.
Point is, no matter how long I been doing this or how I got into it people just think I grab any old thrift-shop rag and casually fold up a doubly slipped reef knot onto Steve’s mic stand, hand it to him, and I’m done.
If a novel depicted house sitters’ lives, its scenes would depict the complex relationship between the homeowner and sitter, the way trust is built between strangers in such an intimate setting as a home: how house keys are swapped, free food is provided or withheld.
The biggest myth we are fed as artists is that we need to sustain ourselves solely on our art. This is ridiculous. Every artist has at some point in time had some other job. Some of them kept these jobs their entire lives.
Reading, writing and thinking are all tasks that are nearly impossible to cultivate while performing manual labor. As Plato first noted, when discussing education, “sleep and exercise are unpropitious to learning,” and therefore students should avoid intense exercise as they pursue educational endeavors.
The Believer‘s blog has a really splendid interview with writer, editor, and UN employee Summer Brennan.
Brennan talks to Nicolle Elizabeth about what it’s like to write non-creatively for a living, and then come home to write some more but on your own terms....more
Superficially, [“do what you love”] is an uplifting piece of advice, urging us to ponder what it is we most enjoy doing and then turn that activity into a wage-generating enterprise. But why should our pleasure be for profit? Who is the audience for this dictum?
“I would be lying of course if I didn’t admit I fell harder than I initially may have thought. The days and weeks following my firing were the first time I admitted to myself that instead of building a Blakeian ladder to the moon that could hold my weight, maybe I have been building one bound to collapse, constructed from toothpicks all along....more