Saturday, August 19

Don't Quit Your Day Job?

I’m writing this shortly after getting home from the day job, and I’m wondering if it’s time to pack it in.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy going to my office to see my colleagues, both the human and the canine ones. (I’ve written before about our dog-friendly office.) I like the work. But I’ve got a lot of irons in the fire right now, writing-wise, and I’m finding it harder to find the time to do the things I want/need to do.

The last couple of days we’ve been working with our accountant on our annual audit, and since I do the month-end books, that’s my area. There’s some changes happening (a renovation to the office, some new software for taking payments and keeping track of members) that will necessitate a fair bit of my time. With our busiest season is right around the corner, including our annual winter conference which takes a lot of time to plan and execute, I’m feeling conflicted. Would my time be better spent writing?
My handsome colleague Huey getting some work done.
On the stick-with-the-day-job side, I do enjoy the camaraderie of work. I'd really miss my colleagues. Because writing is so solitary, it’s great to get out once in a while and actually see people. For several months of the year, I work only a few days a month and I can pretty much choose which days I work. I don’t work enough to make a lot of money, but it’s always nice to have a few bucks coming in on a regular basis. And having extra time doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to suddenly become terribly efficient and get a whole lot more writing done. Sometimes the most efficient writer is the one who knows she has limited time and uses it well.

On the it’s-time-to-leave side, I’m currently knee-deep in edits for the three-book series I plan to self-publish. I’ve got so much work to do on it still. And I have several other manuscripts waiting to be finished or polished. Not to mention the ideas buzzing in my head calling “Write me! Write me!” Then there’s the all the marketing I need to do to launch these books. Don’t get me started.

I’ve gone through this process before. A few years ago, I had to decide whether to quit one of my two part-time jobs. I decided to let one go so I’d have more time for writing, and also more time to spend with my husband, who had just retired. It was the right decision and I haven’t regretted it.

I realize my problem is minuscule compared to people who work full-time. My hat goes off to people who work full-time and/or have young children and still manage to produce books. How do you do it? I need more time. I’m lucky to be in a position where I can afford to consider leaving paid employment.

So friends, if you have a day job, how do you feel about it? If money was no object, would you give it up? Any advice you can give me about my choice is appreciated.


  1. Oooh, something I actually have an opinion on! What am I saying? I have an opinion on EVERYthing. :-) I retired from my full-time job six years ago, and I don't miss it at all. I never have. However, a year ago, I got this little part-time job at the library. Most weeks, it's only six or nine hours, and I love it. In truth, it's not always convenient,'s a job; convenience wasn't in the description. In my mind, if you're not sure you want to leave a job that sounds pretty ideal, I think you should lean toward staying until you are sure. Make sense?

  2. I agree with Liz! If it's not overly instrusive, if you like the people/enjoy the work, stick with it. Speaking from the experience of being a work-at-home person for about 10 years, there are times that I miss the daily interactions with other people, when I feel isolated and completely in my own, those aren't necessarily bad things, just another side of the coin to being 100% self-employed.

  3. Thanks for the sage advice ladies. I think it would break my heart a little to leave my office. I think I'm worrying a little about launching my new series this winter and not getting it right. Down the road, I'll probably say goodbye to the day job (eventually I'll be written out the budget), but for now I'll stay put. Thanks for helping me put this in perspective.

  4. Late to the advice but I think you chose wisely. The fact you were in conflict was a huge tell. Lol

    1. Yeah, I guess it is a big tell. I keep thinking I could make more money doing other things. But having colleagues and other interests is important too. I have to find a way to make everything work.