- Books, Literature, and Writing»
- How to Write
Five Reasons I am considering quitting my day job to pursue a career as a Freelance Writer
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.
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..
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.
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?