No thanks, I’m keeping my day job

Somewhat related to yesterday’s post is this interesting perspective from writer Alexis Grant, who wrote a piece on Chuck Sambuchio’s blog as to why she will always keep her day job, even if she had a six-figure advance. Go. Read. Ponder.

And bookmark Chuck’s blog – he’s one of the good guys.

7 Responses to No thanks, I’m keeping my day job

  1. Digital Dame says:

    I follow Chuck on Facebook, lots of good stuff.

    I’d say one of Alexis’s reasons goes right out the window with a six-figure advance: needing health insurance and the paycheck. I’m sorry, but if I had that kind of loot, I’d be out of the salt mines so fast they’d have whiplash. It costs me money to work: transportation, wardrobe, etc. Also, she’s lucky she works in a job that nurtures her talent and allows her to write for a living. Most of us are not so fortunate.

    I *would* add I’d free up my job for someone who needs it, but I know they wouldn’t replace me if I left. They’re too busy outsourcing.

  2. Digi, the thing is, that six-figure payout doesn’t come in one lovely check. Most of the time, publishers dole it out piecemeal. You get some for signing the contract, more when you turn in the final manuscript, more when the book comes out, and more when the book sells a certain number. And don’t forget your agent’s cut.

    So while the advance sounds fantastic, in reality it’s a different story.

  3. Bill Webb says:

    I agree, Lynn, a six figure advance might buy me a balance in the IRA and a basement that doesn’t leak, but I would need 8 to 9 figures to even consider writing full time. And even then I would have to stay somewhere during the day or my spouse and I would kill each other. I could see the headline…

    “Suburban Chicago man chokes himsefl after wife can’t get her hands around his fat throat. His friends blame success and a 22 figure advance. Film at eleven.”

  4. Digital Dame says:

    Considering the paltry salary I survive on now, I could do it. Most school teachers make more than I do, and they’re always crying poor. You’d be amazed at what you can learn to live without.

  5. danholloway says:

    Very wise words. The productivity point is especially true. I read full-time writers who talk about the struggle to oproduce a few hundred words a day and still find time for social media and I find myself slapping my cheeks in disbelief. I have a full-time day job, a home life, a registered twitter addiction, do 1-2 live shows a week most of which I organise, run an online iterary gallery cum small press and can write 1000 words a day almost every day. Because I have a 1 hour window in which to do it. So it gets done.

    Job generating ideas is also very important (though we must tread very very carefully in separating truth and fiction of course) – I’ve spent 20-something years as a student at, and now an employee of Oxford Uni, and my thrillers (and the website I run for them), whilst never based on real people, are nonetheless full of real detail and atmosphere. As little as a year away from the place and that would start to go – and I’m sure readers would notice

  6. Dear gawd, worldie, can you not write something that leaves me snorting water through my nasal cavity?

    The other thing to consider about leaving your day job for a mere six figure advance is, what do you do when the money runs out? Not everyone has the luxury of returning to their previous day job. In truth, six figures doesn’t go far over a long period of time.

    Dan, I don’t know how you run a press and all your other things and maintain a full-time day job. Behler takes up my every waking moment.

  7. danholloway says:

    Lynn, the joking answer that’s also semi-serious (because it’s true, and is behind my gobbiness about mental health in the arts) is that I don’t take my meds and live 75% of my life in a state of mild hypomania. The serious serious answer is that everything I do outside the day job is interrelated and works around the eight cuts gallery “brand”

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