It is said that artists find it notoriously difficult to hold down a job.
I don’t know how true this stereotype is, but I have certainly had a few issues with employment. Not because I’m a writer and do too much daydreaming, but just because the corporate world is extremely messed up! On quite a few occasions, I have been blighted by the probation curse, fired on the grounds that “I’m not suitable” or not meeting ridiculous targets. A lot of the time, I believe that I am let go because I don’t fit into the workplace socially. And then there’s the suggestion that I don’t work fast enough… jeez, why is everyone in such a hurry these days?
Even though writing is my main passion, I do always try my best with whatever job I have to pay the bills. Unfortunately, society usually ensures that I don’t keep each job for too long. Recently, however, I have found a job that I think I might keep for quite a while. It is a casual job, which means that there’s no probation period and I also haven’t been pulled up for being too slow. In fact, we are encouraged to take our time so that we don’t make mistakes.
Just in case you’re wondering, the job is in a cafe! As a writer, it is good to get out of the house and interact with my fellow humans, as they are fascinating and provide fuel for my imagination. All of my stories feature people, so it is important for me to stay in touch with them. And I am not above working in a cafe, where there are many opportunities to be kind and considerate to customers.
Most importantly, I am still writing in my spare time. In fact, going to the cafe focuses my mind and fuels my writing. It is not a strenuous job and I still have plenty of energy when I get home, so writing still gets done. With other jobs, I have always been too drained or too beleaguered by workplace politics to give my writing the attention that it deserves.
So my advice to any fellow writers or artists would be to find a job that supports what you love. We all need to pay the bills somehow, but try to do something that helps with your passion, even if it’s completely unrelated. If you’re lucky enough to earn money from your art, then that’s great! But most of us have to do a balancing act and quite often we don’t have time for what we love.
Please don’t abandon your hobbies! Do what you love and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Life is meant to be enriched with the things that you love, so fight tooth and nail to incorporate them into your life. You know what you want deep down, so why deny yourself happiness?