Why Keep the Day Job?

We live in an increasingly isolating world. If you drive to work instead of commute en masse, you put yourself in a box for an hour or more per day, roll up your windows to shut out the noise, turn on the radio and prepare or unwind.

We install replacement windows to keep out the draft and the sound. We build privacy screens, we covet the office over a cubicle, we seldom pop in to the watering hole/post office/community center to catch up on local gossip if you even have such an establishment.

Welcome to life as a writer, one of the most isolating professions on the planet, right up there with lighthouse keeper. It’s a job that results in success when you close yourself away and talk to voices in your head, and yet, that seems to be what we aspire to.

Yet, there are some really good arguments for not quitting the day job.

  1. Isolation, as mentioned above.
  2. Networking. If you plan, at sometime, (or don’t plan, but circumstances necessitate) to return to the 9-to-5, it is very difficult to get a job with no references. Book reviews don’t really count. Seen any jobs looking for someone who makes up stuff all day? No. Not me either.
  3. Don’t neglect your passive income streams. Those are “jobs” that pay you long after the work is done – royalties, dividends, rental income… (More on that in the next blog post.)

What’s that, you say? Your day job is soul-sucking? Ack! Can’t have that. Follow this blog series for my third installment in which I talk about how to ensure that your day job is not soul-sucking.

Now, you there, with the soul sucking job, no passive income streams to speak of, and depression in your future when you start writing full-time. Hang in there,

Go Write Some Words!

(Disclaimer: This series consists of my humble opinion. Every situation is different. This is simple homespun advice based on my own experiences. Seek business counsel, accounting advice, legal advice, from a professional.)

The “how to” of Paperback Writing

“Butt in chair, hands on keyboard.” Butt in seat, fingers on typewriter. Keister on the beanbag. Hands on keys. Posterior in a chair (unless you’re at a standing workstation.) Hands on keys (unless you wanna use pen and paper.) Whoever said it first, however they said it, it’s probably the most sound writing advice you’ll ever receive.

Writing takes persistence. (Lordy, does it take persistence. For some of us it may be crossing a line into pig-headedness.) Writing takes a tough skin (sometimes bordering on big-headedness.) But first and foremost, as the often repeated quote by some well-informed writer said, it requires an unrelenting work ethic. Every day. Sit down. Write. – that’s for those of you who were looking for a secret sauce recipe. That’s the biggy and the bitty of it, and I’m not being flippant. Well, okay, I’m a little flip.

You cannot edit if you haven’t written. (I’ll return to this topic later in “The Shi##y First Draft” coming to a blog near you.)

So follow The Paperback Writer if you’re interested in writing and looking for the step-by-steps, advice from the trenches, a day-in-the-life-of, and all things writerly.

Now, go write some stuff!