Jobs for Aspiring Novelists

Currently playing on my iPod: Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap

Those of us who are working toward publication either via the traditional route or through e-pubbing must have some sort of day job to pay the bills. We will probably have to keep that day job indefinitely seeing as most authors don’t exactly make enough to retire in the south of France. *smirk* So what should we do?

As I once discussed with an author acquaintance of mine, a writer’s day job must allow for some serious mind wandering. Obviously, the job cannot tax our brain overmuch in the areas of writing, reading, or researching so that we may hold these lovely skills until time to work on our manuscripts.

Teaching works for aspiring novelists because a teacher has a chunk of time during the summer and the winter in which to write. Driving a truck or a bus or a cab might work nicely as the mind wanders at will while rumbling down the street. I heard of an aspiring novelist who worked as a janitor before their first successful book was published. Hours of mundane mopping certainly permits daydreaming and plot building.

Research your favorite author and see what he/she did before their careers took flight. And remember–that man who just emptied your trash bin might be the next Bernard Cornwell.

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2 Responses to Jobs for Aspiring Novelists

  1. my day job requires concentration, I cannot write anything complicated, but a paragraph or two about the process can be worked into a break

    My solution is to get up early, stumble through a clumsy coffee making experience and groggily deal with my plot outline and character conflicts.

    As for my trash man being Mr, Cornwall, I’m not buying it, But my bartender or my grocery bagger – well they have potential and a day’s worth of people watching to pour into their great American novel.

    • Oh, c’mon! The trash man sees so much…the type of prescription meds the town councilwoman just threw away, what drinks the local principal’s been enjoying, how many cans of Pringles one neighborhood goes through in a week dedicated to ending childhood obesity…I think there’s fodder enough for any novelist there.

      I do think bartending and grocery baggers would make great jobs for the writer. I bagged during highschool and I could easily base a rich character on my manager at the time!

      It’s wonderful that you use your breaks to write. Isn’t writing just so addictive?

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