Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Simple Truth About Not Quitting Your Day Job

I was talking to one of the Greyhaus writers yesterday. She had the chance to meet with a student at a local high school who wanted to make a career out of her writing. She was all starry-eyed and simply wanted to get a basic AA degree and then write. Apparently, her parents were against the idea and wanted her to get a job and pursue the writing on the side. My author 100% supported the idea. And still the author was shocked.

It took a little more convincing.

The reality is, while writing full time sounds great, the real world is not going to sit around and wait for your next royalty check, or the payment from the publisher. It is not going to ignore that next payment if your sales just were not there that day. And, it is certainly not going to wait for you as you write that next book.

What a lot of new writers fail to recognize is that the publishing industry is really an inconsistent business. Although your book may be amazing and do well on March, there is not promise it will do well in April.

Along the same lines, when you hear of authors who do write full time, what we fail to remember, in many cases, is that these authors may have already established their careers and the money is flowing in on a pretty regular basis because of prior sales, or books written for different publishers. There is also the chance that these authors have someone else in the home "bringing in the bacon" so that the writer can write.

When we talk about not quitting your day job, this is not to say you should give up your writing and make it a secondary element of your life. It is simply to insure that you can continue to live while you purse that life long dream. It is tough, but it is a reality.


  1. Great advice Scott! I keep teasing my husband that I'm going to quit my day job (teaching) and write full time. He just shakes his head and reminds me that I only have 9 years until I can retire with full benefits. Sigh. So I guess I'll keep teaching by day and writing by night. It's a good thing I love my job.

  2. This is a great post. And it's why I waited for retirement from my enjoyable teaching career to write full time, even though my husband had a good income a. I wrote all the time while I was teaching -- that's what die hard writers do. But I waited for retirement to apply myself full time to writing. I've never regretted waiting.