The One About Day Jobs

Want to hear a writer joke?

Hey, how do you piss off a writer? 

Ask what they do for a living.

It’s funny because it’s true.

We’ve chosen a profession that doesn’t pay well. At least, that is the reality for the majority of us in the inky trenches. The last royalty check I received was less than $10.

Woot Woot! Ice cream is on me! But only the cheap brand, okay? I’m not pulling in Breyer’s kind of lettuce.

So, unless you’re like my friend, Dana, who is an oncologist searching for the cure to breast cancer, or you’ve got a Sugar Daddy/Mama Patron, you’re working a crappy day job to make ends meet.

You’re not alone.

I have thirty years of crap jobs listed on my resume. Only two of them were any fun. The rest were all minimum wages for minimum effort. Hell, if I were to time slip back into that part of my life, I probably wouldn’t even remember how to do most of them.

When I got the gig where I’m working now, my boss took me out to lunch and said words that I’ll never forget: “98% of this job is just showing up. So, just come to work, do your job and don’t go crazy like the last one did.”

Like the last one did? Oh, it’s one of THOSE kinds of jobs.

But, here I was, nearly forty years old, transplanted back to Tennessee, starting over from scratch, in yet another bullshit job that was going to take me nowhere.

I had a decision to make. I could either slip into a dark depression OR I could use this time to write stories.

I won’t lie; I fell into a depression. It’s my default mode.

But I think it was that Big 4-0 birthday that pulled me out and gave me the kick in the ass to use this time wisely.

I’ve been here for 15 years. I come to work, I do my job and, in the downtime which makes up 75% of my day, I write. I’ve been blessed with Time. And I don’t take it for granted.

So, don’t let your day job make you feel less of a writer.

The next time someone asks you, “What do you do?” look them straight in the eyes and say:

“I create worlds from nothing but ink scribbled onto paper. I make people laugh. I make people cry. I give people hope when they are sitting in a hospital waiting room as their loved ones fight to survive. I tell children that there are monsters in the dark with sharp teeth and ripping claws who want to eat them and then I tell them how to kill them. I provide diversions for people when they are sitting on the bus or sitting on the toilet. I am a writer. I am the bridge between Mythos and Logos. What do you do?”

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