How to be a Writer While You Work Another Job


From the time I was twelve years old, I have wanted to be a writer. The question of why I wanted to be a writer never really came up.

Well, maybe because I love sharing my words. I communicate better with written words rather than spoken words.

Writing provided me with a way to vent my feelings as I was growing up — even once I was an adult.

However, Bob Clary from Webucator got me thinking about why I write and how I do it as an adult. He contacted me and asked me a few questions about writing.

What were my goals when I started writing?

I am sure back when I was twelve years old I didn’t have any goals. I kept a diary of what I did every day.

Yes, that may not seem like writing to you, but I did write every day in that diary for five years. (It was a tiny five year diary that I have kept to this day.)

That practice got me writing other things, though. My freshman year in high school I wrote my first short story. I got a B on it. Good story, no dialogue.

My sophomore year I took a journalism class. That class led me to write for the school newspaper and yearbook staffs.

Eventually I majored in journalism in college. Well, I did have one goal, or perhaps, dream is  a better word. My dream was to go to New York and write for Rolling Stone.

As you can tell, that never happened and probably never will.

What are my goals now?

As an older adult now, I have set more goals. I want to be a freelance writer and proofreader. I have even set up a website for that under my name.

I am working on the third book of a trilogy and have done a rough draft of a Rick Springfield memoir. Yes, I am telling about myself as a fan of Rick’s. I have other ideas for writing, too.

My goals are to publish those two books and keep generating new ideas for other books. I’m not sure of my direction yet, but books that people will read. You know those best-selling novels.

I continue to work on my writing technique as well. We may think we are a great writer, but everyone has something to work on, something that they need to improve.

What pays the bills now?

Right now I work two part-time jobs. I am a program manager at a local youth center geared toward middle school students. I also substitute teach in the local school system and am a Thirty-One consultant.

I have worked in the education field for over twenty years so I don’t know that I could ever give that up.

Assuming writing doesn’t pay the bills, what motivates me to keep writing?

The days I don’t sub I make an effort to do something toward to my writing and proofreading business. I set goals for myself and work toward those goals.

I joined a group on Facebook a few months ago called 10 Minute Novelists. I must say this is one of my Top Five favorite groups on Facebook.

The others are so supportive, and they encourage each other. I don’t think I have ever seen one member be nasty to another. If they have, the person in charge must have deleted the comments before I saw them.

Because of this group, I plan to write 1000 words every day in 2015. We have a 365K group started there. Of course, the goal is to write that amount of words each day.

I think that will be a huge motivator for me. And I need it.

What advice would I give to young authors hoping to make a career out of writing?

I think the best advice I could give is to set goals and to find support. I find that when I don’t have goals I don’t write. That is why I am looking forward to the 365K Club.

My family has been supportive of my writing, but I have found the best support from other writers. In addition to the group I mention above, I belong to a local writers group where we actually physically meet once a month.

Final thoughts

Yes, writing can be tough, especially when you are working a job, but it can be rewarding when you learn how to make it work.

I guess the question to ask yourself is how bad do you want to be a writer? That is something I ask myself every day.

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