The Pro’s & Con’s of The Day Job


In my IWSG post this month I talked about being bored and the idea of getting a day job. Then I stumbled across a quote from T S Eliot. He was asked:

Do you think that the optimal career for a poet would involve no work at all but writing and reading?

He replied:

I think that for me it’s been very useful to exercise other activities, such as working in a bank, or publishing…the difficulty of not having as much time as I would like has given me greater pressure of concentration.

So I decided to do some research, and came across these great articles (don’t you just love Google!).

Don’t Give Up The Day Job Advised Oscar Wilde

Don’t Give Up The Day Job by Stephen Potts

Daily Rituals – Keep Your Day Job

10 Questions Writers Should Ask Before Quitting the Day Job

Ok, ok, enough! Lol….but what if you’ve already quit? What would be the benefits of going back to a ‘job’?

1. It could expand my sources of inspiration.

2. It might make me more eager to write.

3. It will broaden my range of skills and experiences.

4. Stop me procrastinating and use my time more wisely.

5. Give me my own money in my pocket, a sense of independence.

6. Get me out if the house and talking to people.

I don’t want a full time job, been there, done that, pissed me right off! Lol. Mainly because I don’t want to spend my weekends catching up with the laundry *shakes head adamantly* and what with “Albie” now, there is no way I’m going to do that. So I need to find something for a couple of hours a day, or something where it’s only a couple of mornings a week. Yeah, right, like 50,000 other people want *sighs*

I will keep looking though….maybe something will come up πŸ™‚

Would you give up work if you could? Or do you see the benefits of keeping the day job while you write?

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38 thoughts on “The Pro’s & Con’s of The Day Job

  1. I would very willingly give up work if I could. I love being at home and being a homemaker…baking bread, cooking from scratch, crocheting, and keeping up with the chickens. I don’t work much now, but know one day circumstances will change and I’ll have to work a little more. I do know I never want to be a full time worker for someone else. It’s one thing I can say never about. I’m too much of a free spirit. I’m sure I’d cease to exist as me if I ever got boxed into a 9-5/5 days a week job. I think it’d be quite another thing to be working for myself at home and having to put in a lot of time. There are several benefits to working at least a part time job, but I think each person has to make their own individual call on it. I work one day a week now and it’s to keep my skills up, get me out of the house, and to help with the finances. Best wishes on your job hunting.

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    • Thanks Sabrina πŸ™‚

      I’m with you there on full time work….awful 😦

      I could got to work with The Hubster (have done that on and off over the years) but, that still doesn’t give me that independence. Perhaps I need to start my own business πŸ˜‰

      Xx

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  2. Well, as a freelance translator working from home, I feel I have the best of both worlds now! I do not have to bow to anyone else’s demands with respect to when and where I do my work and what I wear while doing it, nor have to deal with the petty rules, politics and trivial talk of office life. My work feels more like a game most of the time. During the day and much of the night, I move between the game of translation, computer games, random surfing, playing the harp and reading as and when I wish. I take days off without having to ask anyone for permission.

    Thus, although I work long hours much of the time, I do not feel oppressed by it because I do it on my terms. Doing this work also means I have the means to do many of the other things I want to do in life, so I am content.

    I have worked as an employee in the past. While I did not enjoy it, I found it essential until I built up my own business. The main initial driving force for taking employment was a burning need to be independent and have my own money, even though I was married at the time.

    I had four years of not working when my daughters were small. Now, I am aware that many women will not agree with what I say, and I stress that this is my experience and my opinion of matters as they affected ME! In all that time, I felt totally humiliated at having to depend on a man for money. To be honest, I think it is one of the factors that destroyed the relationship, because I could not forgive him for assuming that it was OK for me to put his wretched career as top priority in my life because he was doling out housekeeping money to me and paying the mortgage. Even more galling, once I had a job, I was still expected to prioritise his career even though I had restarted mine! I spent those years in burning resentment until I was able to walk out. Actually, I walked out into several years of near poverty, when I had to deny myself most things in order to pay for a house and supply my daughters with what they needed. Nevertheless, because I was independent, this was still better for me than the situation I had left.

    Currently, after four long-term relationships (two legalised), which took up over 30 years of my life, I have discovered that actually I am happiest on my own, taking sole responsibility for my income and my life. Truly, I can say I am now more content and fulfilled than I ever was before when I was tied in one relationship or another.

    So no, I would not give up my current job. I enjoy it and I like the financial freedom it gives me to do things I want to do. I also take pride in the fact I do the job well and I enjoy the feedback I receive from grateful clients. Furthermore, the mental gymnastics involved in translation are probably giving me some protection against developing dementia/Alzheimer disease.

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    • Hi Krys, thank you so much for sharing your experiences, I know you’ve been through a lot (((((hugs)))))

      I’ve spent nearly 30 years being reliant on The Hubster for money (apart from a stint when I was working for a charity) so I know EXACTLY where you’re coming from. I do have a share of the business, but I don’t feel that I actually contribute to it 😦 It was so nice though to have my OWN money πŸ˜‰

      Thanks honey….I want your job! Lol

      Xx

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  3. I can completely see where you’re coming from. I think I’m productive because I work. I’m determined to be a published writer so because I have limited time on my hands I get on with it. If I was not working I think I would succumb more to procrastination. And I can already do that quite well on the hours I have now! But saying that, I would absolutely love to be in a position where writing can be my day job. Maybe part time is the perfect answer. If you can’t find paid work, but you want to do something and get out of the house, how about volunteering?

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  4. I would love to give up work and write! But I figured I needed the income… and sometimes working inspires me (pisses me off enough to keep me writing!) πŸ™‚ I hope you find what you like to do, if you’re planning to head back to work!

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  5. Having a day job definitely makes me a more productive writer. I often say I’d like to write full time, but if I did I KNOW I would spend a lot of time procrastinating and wasting time. Having only a couple of hours a day to spend with my WIP, I have to make the most of that time.

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  6. I’d probably give up some of my job to give me more time to write, but I think I’d miss the camaraderie of working in an office with people. My jobs have all inspired my writing in some way so it’s definitely been worth it! Also, steady money every month comes in very handy and means I don’t stress about writing!

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    • Thanks LM πŸ™‚

      I do get quite lonely and thank heavens I get to meet up with writing friends once a week or I’d go insane!

      Ooooo, yes, having my own money would be VERY nice πŸ˜‰

      Xx

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  7. I’m not far off retiring age but while people still want my graphic design services, it’s good for my self-esteem (not to mention the money) to keep going. When I’m working to deadlines I have stronger ideas and more enthusiasm for writing. Otherwise it’s too open-ended and I never get down to it.

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  8. Let’s see, would I give up my full-time position in the Cube Farm of the D@mned? The job that sucks away my soul each second I despair under the boxed air and canned light?

    Oh Yes.

    However I see the benefit in part-time work or volunteering. My neighbor and her husband are a published authors and make a modest living at it. She works part-time at the local hospital for the health insurance benefits and the opportunity to “get out”. That sounds about perfect to me, but as a single mom, for now I’ll need to stick to taking advantages of those slender slices of writing time when I can.

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  9. Hi Vikki, I need to work, for financial reasons, like I need to pay bills and eat. Also, going out to work gives you the characters and situations to write about. And, I like to take out subscriptions, enter competitions, and maybe to a writing course. So, I’m going to work to pay for the writing that doesn’t pay that much, yet. Always hopeful eh?

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  10. Having not had what some people would consider a “proper” job for the last twenty years, I think I’m possibly unemployable now. Too used to choosing what I do and when. Not willing to put up with people’s daily moaning and bitching and constant harping on about the holidays they’ve just had or are about to have. Oh, dear, I sound like an archetypal grumpy old woman. But I’m not. Have just always found it difficult to conform, so I either like to be in charge at work and organise everything in a non-conformist way, or not work at all, apart from writing and singing.

    I treat my writing as a day job, going into my office at home at set times and just getting on with it. Hope it will pay the bills one day. But I don’t do boredom, if I can help it.

    That being said, I’m sure Albie can do without you for a few hours per week, if you can do without him πŸ˜‰ Dogs mostly sleep when their owners are out, I think — unless they’re puppies getting up to mischief, in which case they should be in a crate, which they don’t mind at all, as long as it’s not longer than a couple of hours during the day.

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    • Ha ha ha, nooooo, not a grumpy old woman Sarah, a woman who knows what she wants! πŸ˜‰

      Oh, now I would LOVE to do that! Have an office and set times I spend at my desk *sighs* Perhaps that’s where I’m going wrong 😦

      Lol, I don’t do boredom either, HATE it 😦

      Yeah, he’s ok for a couple of hours, but I wouldn’t want to leave him for any longer than that.

      Thanks honey

      Xx

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  11. Vikki, I’ve done it both ways and now that the kids are grown, grandkids are on their way to college … the system can keep whatever it would give me. I do have an on-line shop on Etsy.com but the rest of my time is FINALLY for me πŸ™‚

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  12. I work full time but am lucky enough to have a job that allows us to ‘play’ online when we’re slow. I get the marketing type stuff done at work some days then go home and use my last two hours of the day writing. It seems to work for me. There’s only the two of us, so laundry is on the weekends and really doesn’t take long. Is there a local university where you could work part time? Maybe the hospital like someone else mentioned? I’d love to work part time, but as the hubby says “when you make as much writing as you do in your full time job, then maybe.” LOL Good luck with your decision.

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    • Oh very nice Mel πŸ™‚

      Ahhhhh, yeah, I guess things would be different if I didn’t have all 3 kids still at home lol

      Ha ha ha, but you’re getting there honey πŸ˜‰

      Thank you xx

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  13. I’ve given up work and I don’t think I’d ever go back to it again. But one thing I did get out of it was meeting odd characters (office people can be amazing and weird) so it really does open up new horizons for writing fodder πŸ˜€

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  14. I think there are arguments for doing a job in parallel with a writing career. I’ve never been a full time writer and don’t think I would want to, because I enjoy and am inspired by interactions with people and different experiences. I’ve had a full time salaried job for most of my working life and when I did, I fantasised about giving it all up to be a writer. This made me value my precious writing time and I probably worked harder as a result, because I was striving for success. I had more self discipline too. When I went part time (first down to 4 days pw, then 3.5, then 3 days) my intention was to spend more time writing. But weirdly I then found it even harder to write! It was like the more time I had, the more I seemed to procrastinate. Duh! I wouldn’t want a full time salaried job again, as I enjoy having more control over how I structure my time. I envy writers who can be single minded and motivated enough to be a full time writer.

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    • You’ve hit the nail on the head Jane πŸ™‚

      And yes, I procrastinate WAY too much!

      I tell you what we should do….set a morning, every week, for a writing session, what do you say? We won’t talk, we’ll sit and WRITE!

      Xx

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      • Hi Vikki – great idea but in reality if we met to write I would end up wanting to chat instead as we have just great conversations! Like you, I love meeting people and talking. I might say this is because writing is such a solitary occupation so it is natural to want to relieve the isolation but in reality, I haven’t done a lot of writing recently, so that won’t wash! Today I failed again to knuckle down to my deadline of writing the first 3 chapters of a new pony book by the end of July. I have plenty of excuses (hot weather, of course, headache, heavy period, need to catch up on last 2 episodes of Supernatural, etc etc). How much pressure do I need to get off my arse (or rather on my arse) and start writing……sigh!

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      • Hi Vikki – great idea but in reality if we met to write I would end up wanting to chat instead as we have just great conversations! Like you, I love meeting people and talking. I might say this is because writing is such a solitary occupation so it is natural to want to relieve the isolation but in reality, I haven’t done a lot of writing recently, so that won’t wash! Today I failed again to knuckle down to my deadline of writing the first 3 chapters of a new pony book by the end of July. I have plenty of excuses (hot weather, of course, headache, heavy period, need to catch up on last 2 episodes of Supernatural, etc etc). How much pressure do I need to get off my arse (or rather on my arse) and start writing……sigh!

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      • Hi Vikki – great idea but in reality if we met to write I would end up wanting to chat instead as we have just great conversations! Like you, I love meeting people and talking. I might say this is because writing is such a solitary occupation so it is natural to want to relieve the isolation but in reality, I haven’t done a lot of writing recently, so that won’t wash! Today I failed again to knuckle down to my deadline of writing the first 3 chapters of a new pony book by the end of July. I have plenty of excuses (hot weather, of course, headache, heavy period, need to catch up on last 2 episodes of Supernatural, etc etc). How much pressure do I need to get off my arse (or rather on my arse) and start writing……sigh!

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      • Ha ha ha, I promise I won’t talk to you! πŸ˜‰

        Seriously though honey, I am happy to meet for a writing session, I find it really useful when we have write ins and sprints for Nano πŸ™‚

        Xx

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  15. It’s hard to get a full time job now – they are like gold dust. Everything is temporary or short term contract, and the salaries are getting lower and lower by the minute. If you have a permanent full time job, congratulations! If not, I seriously think you’ve had your chance, that’s it!

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