May 11th, 2010

Career Notes: Everybody sad!

I think at my career-talk thingy on Thursday, I am going to be asked about how I balance writing stories and earning a living. My glib answer is “badly,” but my non-glib answer is not too much better–I do what I can, sleep less than I want, miss parties I’d enjoy, I don’t own a car, cellphone, cat, or cable box, and have truly demented tax returns. But judging by the state of the bloggersphere today, everybody is miserable in this situation. So I’m in good company, and at least I’m not injured:

Mark reports on AL Kennedy’s description of the writing life composed of exhaustion, obsession and back pain.

AJ comments on Geoff Pevere’s description of the writing life as composed of networking, being ignored, and self-doubt.

Amy comments on the writing life of trying to find a totally un-writing-related job to support the writing. I like how Amy is positive and puts the pros of the situation before the cons, albeit after the eye-gouging reference.

So what am I really gonna tell the kids on Thursday? That if you want to do a thing that doesn’t pay much (or sometimes anything) you will have to do another thing that pays at least something, to balance it out, at least for a while. And while yes, that can suck the life right out of you and make you just want to lie down and have a little nap at the bus stop or the grocery store, it can also be stimulating and exciting to be in two different worlds. And a workaday job, as opposed to writing, will introduce you to new people, help you learn to work as part of a team, expose you to ideas you did not think of yourself, and more than likely offer at least some cake.

This might be aggressive silver-lining searching from someone writing this blog post as her sole creative outlet this week, as she spends her days editing and her nights marking teenager stories (Bulletin: I have learned about the teens: they like the video games. Also: weird fonts.) But there’s always gonna be tradeoffs, and quite often I get to write for a few hours at a time. At least, that’s what I tell myself.

I think I’m going to do a post on “Jobs for Writers.” I’ve had a lot of different ones, but not nearly all that are out there–please send comments if you’ve had a particularly good, or particularly bad job-writing fit that we can all learn from.

Back to work!

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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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