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Five Reasons I am considering quitting my day job to pursue a career as a Freelance Writer

Updated on June 4, 2012
Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.
Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

I have been wanting to become a freelance writer for quite some time now. But because of the nature of the career, I haven't wanted to quit my day job (actually it's a night job now but meh, who says that?) until I finally was making the same pay grade as I was at my day job.

Which I figured shouldn't be that hard. For awhile I was only making about 800 bucks a month. (Go retail jobs!) But here I am, a year and three months after I had made it a goal to become a freelance writer, and I was still working my day job, and only putting in a half-hearted effort into my career goals.

So, I I'm thinking about doing the completely sane and grounded thing, and going and quitting my day job.

I can already hear what you have to say. “That's stupid!” While others of you will be saying “That's how you have to do it!”

I don't really know if it is the right thing or not. But I have decided if I'm serious about making a career as a freelance writer, I should probably be serious about doing it. Here are reasons five why I I'm thinking about quitting my day job.

I wish I could daydream like JD can.
I wish I could daydream like JD can.

1. Working a day job kills creativity.

Here's how my day job goes. Pick up box one. Open box one. Take out contents of box one. Put contents of box one on peg hook where contents of box one goes. Break down box one. Put box one in cart. Pick up box two. Open box two...

Yeah you get it. Needless to say that it doesn't require a lot of brain power to do that job. So what does your mind do while you're working? It wanders. Like an eeeeeagleeeee....

When my mind wanders, when I relax and let it get to that point, that's when I become creative. I start to think about ideas for my novel I'm working on. I start to think of articles I want to write. I even start to solve problems in my personal life.

So I get home, excited to put down my ideas to paper. And I can't think of anything. My mind is completely blank. All of that creative time was meaningless because I could do nothing about my creative mind. Can I stop working and write down my ideas? Nope. My bosses would have my neck.

Not to mention reason number 2..

Words of wisdom from my homeboy Homer.
Words of wisdom from my homeboy Homer.

2. You get home from work and feel like doing nothing.

What do you do when you get home from work? It's different for everyone. Mom's have to clean house, cook dinner, get the kids ready for bed. I usually throw down whatever food I have prepared for myself and then go to bed. Because it's freakin' four o'clock in the morning when I get off of work. This will bring me to another reason. Later...

But I guarantee you, most people when they get home from work don't want to work more, other than the necessary things. You don't come home from work and go work in the yard. Why do you think Saturday is yard cleaning day? A bunch of my guitar students don't ever improve because they don't feel like practicing guitar when they get off of work, and that's the only time they have to practice. This applies to so many things, but when you're trying to make freelance writing as a career by starting it off as a second job, you just spin your wheels.

Backing up a tad here...

3. If you work an odd schedule, all you do is work and sleep.

This is my biggest enemy.

I work nights, seven PM until four AM. I get home, eat something, veg on the sofa and watch TV until I'm not wired anymore, finally get to bed, and get up about three in the afternoon. When you work that kind of schedule, life just seems to pass you by because you're so tired and worn out all the time, that if you're not working or sleeping, you don't do anything. You just honestly don't feel like ever doing anything. If you haven't worked a weird schedule you won't understand.

So trying to squeeze working into that weird schedule just drains you even more, your creativity is gone, your motivation is gone, and you're left not accomplishing anything.

Climbing the corporate ladder.
Climbing the corporate ladder.

4. You're still in the mindset that your job is your career.

I never understood this whole “mindset” idea until I finally broke through some limiting ideas I had. It's always in the back of my mind that one day, I could finally get my promotion, be recognized for my hard work, and life would get better.

So when you get home, you're not thinking of working on your new career. Why would you? Your career is the very day job you are trying to get away from.

5. If you dislike your day job, it comes through in every other area of life.

I have a rule, I don't hang out with people from work outside of work. Why? All we ever talk about is work!

Whether we like it or not, our jobs are part of who we are. Why do you think that when the guys get together for golf, they talk about how things are at the office? My dad loves to talk about his plumbing when he gets home.

Imagine now that you hate your job. (Probably don't have to imagine). Now imagine that you're trying to write a positive, upbeat article about something you love. That hatred from your job boils over into your work and you either send away your readers before they ever even start, or you get mixed reviews for your work.

If you want to be a writer, your head has to be focused. If you can honestly put aside the days cares, go for it. I can't. Me, on the other hand, the first thing I would write would almost always be “I'm doing this because I hope to quit my day job one day”.

If you have responsibilities, such as a family to provide for, a car payment, house payment, I can't recommend to you quitting your day job to pursue a career that many people can't make a living from. But I have few bills, few responsibilities, and even a bit of money saved up. I hope it can last me while I work on getting that paycheck from writing!

Tell me what you think in the comments. Is it wise to quit a day job to pursue such a finicky career as freelance writing?

Should you quit your day job to pursue freelance writing?

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    • flagostomos profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Washington, United States

      You are not alone my friend! I was lucky enough to get a new job that lets me do both.

    • kellyteam profile image


      5 years ago from Michigan

      First of all I thought I was the only one that have great ideas during the day and can't remember a thing when I get home. As for quitting your day job to pursue writing, If you got it like that, go for it. I would if I could. Keep on hubbing!

    • flagostomos profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Washington, United States

      I actually did just that since I wrote this hub. I'm currently in the transition period from old to new job and I'm crazy busy but hopefully once things settle down I'll be able to get more into my writing.

    • thoughtfulgirl2 profile image


      6 years ago from East Coast

      Yup, totally understand the dilemma. Before you quit, how about changing your hours? The hours you are working are something I am familiar with and they will sap the life out of you. Keep writing.

    • gmmurgirl profile image

      Shan Moore 

      6 years ago from Philippines

      Hi flagostomos! I'm thinking the same way. Thanks!

    • flagostomos profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Washington, United States

      Wow thanks for the comments everyone!

      @Cathleena Beams I know how you feel. As I mentioned, my peak times for creativity is when i can't write. The worst thing is I'll be laying in bed needing to get a few hours of sleep when I have an idea for my novel. So I have to decide between my passion or that two hours of shut eye.

      @jpcmc I have actually taken that advice and been searching for another job. I have two more weeks before I use up my vacation time with the company I am currently at, then I'm going to start hitting the pavement again.

      @jordannoshoes Clear and concise but you're exactly right.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Keep your job, work with it and write.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 

      6 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      It seems that you are not fond of yor day job. Before venturing into freelance writing I suggest finding another job that you truly like. I do freelance writing on top of my day job. But the key is to find a job that you really love. Writing is just an add on. You can write anytime you can.

      At work I get ideas and simply jot them down. When I'm ready to write, I simply take the notes out and start creating.

    • Cathleena Beams profile image

      Cathleena Beams 

      6 years ago from Lascassas, Tennessee

      I can feel your pain. Normally my mind is going a million miles an hour on the way to work and the writing juices are running fluently, but something happens the minute I get home. All of a sudden I'm too tired to think anymore since that's what I've been doing all day long. Writers block kicks in when I try to write at night. Mornings are my best time for thinking. Weekends are optimal too. It seems when I should be doing something else, like getting ready for church on Sunday morning, this is when my best writing ability switches on. I guess it's just one of those things you have to do even when you don't feel like you can. Maybe a miracle will suddenly occur and something great will turn up somehow, someway on paper, even though you don't expect it to.

      In response to your question, I would be too afraid to quit my day job if I wasn't making enough money to compensate for it each month. Unfortunately, or maybe I should say luckily, I'm too chicken to do that.

      Good luck to you though. Let us know what you decide to do and if you do quit your job, keep us updated on your progress as a full time freelance writer.

    • flagostomos profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Washington, United States

      Ya and that's what I keep coming back to. I don't actually have insurance as it is, and my monthly living expenses are pretty low. I just picked up a pocket notepad and that's what I've been using recently. Thanks for the comment!

    • Olivia-O profile image


      6 years ago

      I would recommend it only if you have enough savings to get by on until you are making a living and if you honestly believe that you can not only make ends meet, but can put some aside for the future.

      Remember that you will need to provide for your own insurance needs if you quit your "day job." You won't have any kind of disability insurance or anything like that, either.

      You will need to be able to make enough extra to cover for those kinds of eventualities.

      Can you bring a tablet or laptop with you to work and jot down your writing ideas on your breaks and lunch? I work in retail, too, though not quite as deadening a schedule as you do (I work 1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.) and do some writing on my own lunch every day.

    • flagostomos profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Washington, United States

      That is possibly the best comment I have ever read. I was sitting here mentally answering all of the questions in my head and it's helping me walk through the decisions. Rather than post my answers to all of your questions, suffice it to say that you helped - a lot.

      I actually wrote for textbroker for quite some time, but recently I've been finding it hard to find articles on there that I feel qualified to write. I just checked the postings a few minutes ago and there were only 148. I also quit writing for them when I found an article that I had written and it was getting rave reviews - and all I could do was cry.

      Many many thanks!

    • graceomalley profile image


      6 years ago

      Depends on your situation. You said you have no kids, no mortgage, ect. Does this mean no debt also? No obligations of that nature are a great blessing in life - and it won't always be that way! I sort of feel like saying go for it -

      But let's not do anything rash. You mentioned you have some savings. Exactly how long can you live on these savings? Can you supplement the savings with some work that won't sap your recently freed up creativity? A little yard work, child care, errand running on the side? How disciplined are you? Can you work at writing for 8 hours a day? Can you find a housesitting/caretaking/caregiving situation that will bring your living expenses very low, but allow you writing time? Do you have a fall back situation - i.e., will Mom and dad or your brother Ed let you crash there for a bit if things don't pan out?

      Writing for Textbroker is a quick way to get up and running quickly. It is a ghostwriting site, so your name won't go on anything, but they pay by the word, and pay every Friday. I wrote an article about Hubpages vs Texbroker - you can find it on my profile page if you are curious.

      Good luck! I wish you the best.


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