In one of my LinkedIn groups, someone proposed this question for discussion:
Money-wise, is it worth quitting a secure job to do creative writing as a full-time career?
I’m currently in retail, which is fine in terms of money & job security but not job satisfaction, especially for a highly creative mind. I know I want to do creative writing as a career, but I want to be sure there’s a reasonable chance I won’t turn out like the stereotypical cash-strapped writer.
What would you suggest?
It really got me thinking about my full-time career and my dream career, and how disparate they are. I answered thusly:
I’m in the same predicament you’re in Mohammed (well for the most part. My second job is actually very fulfilling).
[With] every spare moment I get, I write. I have a calendar where I jot down the length of time I have written or actively engaged in writing, and I try to make my goal of 60 minutes every day.
I say that, because I discourage against quitting a stable job for creative writing if you don’t already have that writing presence; especially if your job is what you depend on to eat, pay the rent and other bills, have health insurance, etc. A creative writing career is like a singing career, it’s very hard to have a highly successful one. But if you don’t practice (get that time in every day), you will never have that career.
But it’s not impossible! And if it’s your dream, never give up on it! I also suggest you try to get a few small projects that would build a portfolio, OR take some classes where your full-time job can lean more toward writing. You’re in retail now, perhaps a marketing job will open up at your company or a communications position? Anything is possible.
Are any writers out there not yet writers by trade? Does it frustrate you? I get a little miffed when I see a piece of creative writing that’s not done very well become a best seller, or become extremely popular. Especially when I’m struggling to put all of my education and writing talent on display and getting nowhere. But that’s another rant for another day.