Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Temps make awesome writers...

As a temp you walk into a world of the unexpected. From dog walking, mental institutions, floral designer assistant, office receptionist, there really is everything in the world of temping.

How does it make you an awesome writer?

You see the world differently. I was a temp for years. When I got bored from one job I moved to the next. Something I've noticed in the world of the creative (singers, artists, painters, writers) we often say "I work four jobs" and I think it's because we don't want to feel tainted. Being stuck inside four white walls asked to push paper sounds depressing and the last thing you want to feel before writing a thousand words is depressed.

I temped for years and even though I now work in an office (for the past three years) I wouldn't change my life for anything. Those temp jobs were fabulous. They gave me great stories for the future, allowed me to learn a lot about people, and character quirks have never been a problem with all the people I've met.

Now that I've settled down I've noticed I chose a job where there are so many personalities that every day truly offers it's own individual story. It has never tainted my creativity, in fact, it is here that I first realized I wanted to be a writer.

Maybe settling down has it's positives too.

What route do you go? Do you that moving around a lot makes for better stories?

27 comments:

Melissa Bradley said...

I am currently a temp, but I've had a mixture of permanent and temp positions. Being a temp certainly has its advantages as far being able observe and work in different environments, but if you have a interesting permanent position, you get to know characteristics of people rather well.

Miranda Hardy said...

Do think diversity helps with writing. I subbed for two years, going from district to district, grasping all the differences in high school students. I wouldn't change that for anything

Rain Laaman said...

I could never really imagine being in one job for a really long time. There are only two things I would want to do long term--but they're a secret! Well, you can probably guess one of them.

Anne Gallagher said...

I wasn't a temp, but I did work 4 jobs to et myself through college. A lot of fun, and a lot of different experiences. Definitely adds fodder to the writing life.

Leigh Ann said...

I work with college students all day, four days a week. I couldn't be happier - it's almost as awesome as a YA writer working in a high school.

But if I was writing adult fiction, I could see where being a temp would be super-useful.

Great post, Jen!

Cynthia said...

My working life is a lot like yours. I've have temped for years, mostly because I never found a place I wanted to stay for very long. I've been at my job now for going on three years, and I love the flexablity and the small family company it is. I couldn't have gotten the same from a larger company.

DL Hammons said...

Since college, I've worked for just three companies, although I've had numerous different jobs with those companies. Yes, I believe diversity in our work can help breed an active immagination and translate into our writing. But stability offers its own benefits. :)

Terri Tiffany said...

My first job I worked there 17 years.When I think of that now, I can't believe I did that!Now I last about a year before being bored but I write now too!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I was a drug rep at one point. Definitely a lot of moving around going on there as I drove around my oversized territory. :D

I've had a lot of different jobs since graduating high school. Some of them play a bigger role in my writing (like being a research assistant) than others. One of them gave me an idea for an upcoming book.

Nicole Zoltack said...

I've only worked two jobs before staying at home to be a mom and a writer (and now an editor). I worked as an intern at a pharmaceutical company (it paid in both credits and money, awesome!) and then after I graduated from college, I worked as an organic chemist for two and a half years. Basically, I got the job to pay for our wedding and housing since hubby went for his masters and was in school longer than I was.

I do miss getting out of the house everyday but I wouldn't change things for the world. Although I would be oh so happy if the next one is finally my little princess...

Krista said...

I haven't really had a wide verity of jobs. But my family did move over a dozen times before I was a senior in high school. And I am not talking moving 20 minutes away. I am talking about moving cross country.

When my family moves - they really move :)

Moving around a lot - seeing different places, meeting new people - it has all shaped who I am as a writer.

April said...

Very interesting, but I see your point. When I temped, I did only office stuff. I've been working office work now since I was 21, the last 5 years for the government.

I enjoy it for the most part. I have the best bosses, and I enjoy my job. Mostly. But it doesn't help me too much in writing, though I did do a blog series about different types of people in a "typical" work place and how you might use them in your writing.

There are some rather colorful people here, however. LOL

April said...

Very interesting, but I see your point. When I temped, I did only office stuff. I've been working office work now since I was 21, the last 5 years for the government.

I enjoy it for the most part. I have the best bosses, and I enjoy my job. Mostly. But it doesn't help me too much in writing, though I did do a blog series about different types of people in a "typical" work place and how you might use them in your writing.

There are some rather colorful people here, however. LOL

Carrie said...

I temped a little too. It was kind of freeing. I also waited tables, which I loved. I work backstage in theater so every two months I start working on a new show with a new cast.

Christa said...

Temps do make awesome writers. Also because they can literally leave work behind and just write!!!

Patti said...

I temped for a little while, but decided I like the security of a full time gig.

Stacy Henrie said...

I did temp work one summer - I did meet lots of different people, which made up for some of the mindless stuff I had to do. :)

Johanna Garth said...

Never temped but always thought my NYC apartment building would make a great setting for a novel or tv show-LOTS of personality stuffed into one little building.

Anna said...

I worked as a temp for a year out of college. The pay wasn't great, but I had lots of crazy jobs—such as one at a pawn shop distribution center, where I cut open little plastic bags and dumped gold grills into a giant bucket. Yeah, classy. Temp jobs help you see the world from a different point of view. And yeah, the flexibility is awesome!

Connie Keller said...

I never worked as a temp, but I moved a lot growing up and even as an adult. And I think there are similarities between the two. You see different cultures, different types of people, etc. And being an "outsider" helps you notice thing that you'd otherwise miss.

Jessica Bell said...

I started writing more when I settled down. But I'm glad I worked so many different jobs and place because now I have material :o)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've been fairly consistent as far as my job, but since I was a military brat, I moved around a lot as a kid. Same thing - it exposes you to different people, cultures, and ways of thinking.

Talli Roland said...

I've done so many different jobs that I almost feel like a temp! It's been great, because I've experienced so much.

Kelly Polark said...

I think being a temp is great to feel out potential careers to find one that fits you the best.
Though I've never temped. :)
As a teacher, I like that every day is different and every year new students to watch their minds grow!

Sarah Pearson said...

Right now I'd take anything that anyone wanted to offer :-) My four walls doesn't make for much variety!

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

I usually love variety, but I'm not in a spot in life where I can get it. Not anymore. Thankfully I had eight wonderful years of variety living in China, so -- kind of like you with temping -- I have all those stories and ideas stored up for these 'settled' days. :)

Great question!

Amy

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Over the years I've had a lot of different jobs, and ones that don't seem to mesh at all with my personality LOL! BUt, like you said, variety is the spice of life and it makes you appreciate the jobs you enjoy as well as exposes you to new and different things.

BTW miss you! I've been off the radar preparing for the halloween bash, but I posted an update today and by Monday I'll be back to normal!