An (almost) objective look at choosing a writing career (Illustrated!)

An Important Book About Careers once told me that you should evaluate whether you and your new job are suited for one another after 4 weeks.  That’s the time to make a list of Pros and Cons and then sit down and seriously consider if you can make it work.

Since I’ve been a self-declared author for 28 days now, it’s time for a game of Pros and Cons. And since I spent 30 minutes last night learning to put media into my blog, you get the illustrated version.  (I climb the learning curve slowly, okay?)

Let’s start with the Pros

1.  It is entirely acceptable to come to work in this uniform:

writermomblog 005

2. JOY!  It is clear to me that I love writing because in the last week alone I have gotten so involved that I have forgotten to

  • eat,
  • pee,
  • put pasta into a pot of boiling water,
  • go get my kids from school.

I also may have ignored personal hygiene from time to time. (If you noticed, thanks for not mentioning it!)

These are all things I love to do- so forgetting to do them must mean I love writing even more.

3.  If I want to use this as my time clock, no one can complain:

    Think I’ll work from happy cow time til…hmmmmm…half past a happy cow.  Perfect.

4. I can call staring into space for 3 hours “getting inspiration.”  And surfing the web is “research.”  And reading anything and everything I can get my hands on is a HUGE part of my job.  Which reminds me…

5.  My pile of reference materials looks like this:

writermomblog 009

C’mon.  How awesome is that?  It sure beats my old stack of references:

1-29-14 010

Do you see the feet in that book?  How did I get into a field that involved so much foot-touching?  There is none of that in writing!

6.  It’s pretty easy to put work on hold for awhile whenever somebody looks like this:

writermomblog 003

And now for the Cons

1.  That girl up above?  With the drippy nose and the whiny voice?  I’m ALWAYS going to be the one to have to stop work for that.

2. Until someone loves my work, and finds someone else who loves my work, and they publish my work, my paycheck looks like this:

Yep, that’s a goose egg.  Bigger than I thought it would be.

3.  And once they do publish it, odds are my paycheck (when put next to my husband’s) will still look like this:

1-29-14 005

They are called cacahuetes in Spanish.  Thanks, CandyLand.

4.  And in the meantime, though my primary task is to create compelling, enjoyable fiction to entertain and educate young minds, my other job duties include these:

                       writermomblog 013                                            writermomblog 012        

5.  I kinda miss some things about working in health care.  Like talking to real life people over 4′ tall, and knowing when a job is complete, and helping people feel better, and having performance reviews and bonuses at regular intervals.

But honestly, I’m pretty sure the Pros DO outweigh the Cons.

Because I’m chasing a dream.  Because someday, I WILL see my books on the shelf.

And because when I read what I’ve written to my kids, I get to see these smiles.

kateys phone sept 2013 085b

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8 thoughts on “An (almost) objective look at choosing a writing career (Illustrated!)

    • Thanks, Terri. I know there are options for income (Though I’m quite certain there are options I don’t know enough about yet.) It’s just such a different paradigm than what I was used to. I’ve never been a “sales” person, so I’ve never had to wait for a sale to get paid. But honestly, I’m just blessed beyond belief to be one of the few writers who doesn’t HAVE to focus on the paycheck right now.

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  1. Hey now, a couple of those PT books were my favorites back in the day! (Now I find knowing the children’s books more useful both at work and at home.)
    Can’t wait to read yours someday, hopefully soon!

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    • I’m hard at work on a picture book and a chapter book right now. And I’ll freely admit, I do still like those PT books – that’s why they’re in the office, not the basement. Thanks for the support, Katie B!

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  2. LOVE the illustrations! They make this post so much fun. I might do more pro/con lists if they could look like this one 🙂

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    • It was fun to do. I had an image in my head of writing “until I make enough to afford this:” followed by a picture of Mrs. Doubtfire cleaning up the house, but then I got worried about coyright stuff and decided not to mess with it. Thanks for checking it out! Big hugs.

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