On last week’s episode of Girls, Hannah got a temporary day job in GQ’s advertorial department, where she had a taste of success (as well as free snacks).
Her fellow co-workers were fellow aspiring writers, and during a slightly fraught break room chat, they revealed that all of their writing successes came before they had a day job. Hannah quits, not wanting to wake up in ten years having failed to pursue her real writing, but later decides to try to have it both ways and vows to write three hours every night.
I’m sure this episode rang true for many a writer. Barring some sort of independent wealth or a generous benefactor, there are really only two choices:
- Quit/scale back your day job to have more time to write, plunging yourself into financial uncertainty.
- Keep your day job and carve out time for writing in the margins, plunging yourself into creative uncertainty.
- Writing can be solitary — I like going into an office, having a routine, seeing coworkers I like every day, and getting out of my own head.
- Writing can be frustrating — I like having something else I’m invested in, particularly in an arena where one’s effort is often more closely tied to tangible results.