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Old August 14 2010, 06:37 PM   #17
J. Allen
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Re: What do you do...

macloudt wrote: View Post
Whatever you choose to do, make sure you enjoy it. I know this sounds like an obvious statement, but I've known several people who never followed their original dream career path because it didn't seem feasible at the time. The result was their being stuck in jobs they hated, which drained all happiness and energy from all other aspects of their lives.

If you wish to focus on your writing, would you consider working, for example, a retail job to pay the bills until you can make a living off your writing? You know, a suffer-for-your-art kind of thing. If you don't pursue your writing you may regret not doing so for the rest of your life, so I reckon it's certainly worth a shot.
Absolutely. Right now, any job would be worthwhile. I don't have very large needs. I help a family that does, but for myself, I could live in an efficiency apartment, and as long as I had electricity, running water, my writing utensils and my internet connection, I would be content. I take comfort and solace in the singular pleasure of writing.

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post

I don't know if you're thinking of this writing stuff and something you'll do for a living, but if so I would highly recommend against it. Keep it as a "just for fun" thing that you might do something serious with eventually.

I just don't want you to get your hopes up that you'll make a living at it. It's extremely rare to make a living as a writer. And even the business-oriented writing professions such as technical documentation are in a really rough spot right now.

Speaking more broadly, it sounds like you may be having trouble finding work precisely because you are a generalist with no specific skills or expertise. It would help to find something you can get good at and get paid for, but you'll probably have to be good at it before anyone will hire you to do it.

I don't know what you might want to do. If you're willing to learn some kind of programming, you can try As for the writing, there are numerous freelance writing sites out there that you could try. I'll warn you that none of this short contract work tends to pay well, but it's money and experience you can put on your resume.
Duly noted. I agree on my being a generalist. I am the quintessential Jack of all Trades. I can learn very rapidly, and do well at it, but I am not a master of any particular skill. The writing thing I see as a possible foothold to something better. If I did start writing, it would be just as you say, for articles, short stories, things that don't pay well but look good on a resume for something better down the road. I think what I'm looking for is a solid foothold, something that I can use to climb. I'm not averse to the climbing, I know it has to be done, I just want something solid underneath when I reach up to take the next step.

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