Don’t Don’t Quit Your Day Job
Don’t quit your day job.
Wisdom for the ages (especially the ages of 21-25 or so, those awkward post-college years).
But as of last Friday — or a few weeks before, really, when I actually gave notice — it’s wisdom I’ve parted from. I worked my last shift in the Real World on Friday afternoon, and will not be going back in on Monday. Which brings us to our new rule for young writers:
Don’t don’t quit your day job.
That is to say, don’t work the safe hours you know you can keep just because you know you can keep them.
Don’t put the draft, the edits, the query letter; the agent hunting off because you need to work long shifts for the overtime.
Don’t settle for $8.50 an hour when you can make more at $0.03 a word and some decent self-promotion.
Don’t get content.
Don’t get boring.
Don’t get old.
It’s an insecure world out there. The people who played by the rules, worked at the same company for 40 years, and put money aside into their pensions are looking for second jobs now, at retirement age. The people who gave up doing something different for doing something safe are getting divorced, addicted, suicidal, depressed; indicted.
You might not be happy scrabbling for enough contracts to make rent month to month. But are you all that happy now?
Don’t don’t quit your day job. You’ll know when.