May 23rd, 2013

crossed heart

the jobs I had before becoming a nurse and getting published

Originally published at Cassie Alexander. You can comment here or there.

So if you remember a few weeks ago I was peeved about someone complaining about having to work a job because their poetry career was thus far unsuccessful. I was on ambien at the time, but even in retrospect, my peeve still holds. Poets don’t make much (if any) money, and…yeah. The most depressing conversation I’ve ever had in my writing life was with someone who was getting their masters in poetry. I love poems! But they’re not a viable paying health-insurance providing career path, no matter how thoroughly one dedicates oneself to the artform.

So I decided to approach the Billfold after that and offered to write some articles about what it’s like to be a working writer, and the first one went live today — The Jobs I Had Before Getting My Novel Published — which sort of makes it sound like I’m not working anymore, but as you all know, I most certainly am, ha.

So if you ever wondered if you could hold down a job or a bad job or a succession of the two while writing, you can. It sucks — it totally, utterly sucks — but you so can.

I didn’t really examine in that piece how lucky I was to have already done most of the prereqs for nursing school on accident in college part one — or how lucky I am that my determination not to have kids means that I have a lot more free time available to me than most people. (Then again, most people don’t go into life knowing that they’d rather write than parent, ha.)

Anyhow — a lot of those bad jobs made me want to write more. I viewed each next book as the ticket out of that job and into a better one. While that didn’t go exactly as planned, I never got stagnant and bogged down, either — I knew I was working towards something bigger and more important to me. I still am — it’s always called the next book ;).