Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Ninja fast typers, Clerical Monsters, Zombie Cleaning ladies, fairy school teachers, Rockstar bank workers, lobster lover servers, Stay-at-home Vampire Mom's (who don't like little children's biting habits)

We all have jobs, but I'm curious on our journey as writing and aspiring authors where we all began and where we are at now!

Are you a professional working by day and awesome writer by night?

Are you crazy job hopping loony by day and ninja fast writer by night?

Are you a stay home writer, mom, and write all day?

I'm interested to know all different walks of life! I'd love to hear what you all did before you came that full-time writer, or what you're still doing until you get there! What pays the bills until you sell that NY Time Bestseller (Yes we can all dream)!

My jobs:
Grocery and Market jobs
Retail job
Inbound call center for infomercials
Data Entry

Still working towards full-time writing :)


Susan Fields said...

I'm a stay-at-home mom (have been for almost fourteen years now). Before that I was a computer programmer and an electrical engineer.

I left you something at my blog today. :)

Jennifer Shirk said...

I'm a SAHM too. But before that I was a pharmacist.

Jaimie Teekell said...

I can't write full time. I tried it while I was unemployed 6 months this year and I think I've written more words toward my next novel in 4 weeks of employment than 6 months of not. So no full-time writing for me.

(I'm unmarried, though, with no kids, so I got's tiiiiiime.)

I've worked:

At a church
At various offices in construction or home improvement

(I try not to do jobs that involve writing since that makes me not want to write when I get home.)

Amie McCracken said...

Jaimie, I'm right there too. I'm completely lazy unless I have like ten things to do. Having more things on my plate motivates me.

I've been:
a ceramic-painting store clerk
a newspaper photographer
a dog-walker
a veterinary assistant
an editor (ah, dream job)

and right now a house wife who has no motivation to write whatsoever, sad

Christina Lee said...

Hey Jen! I've been a social worker and a teacher. But now I work from home as a newspaper columnist, a writer (of course), a mom, and on my hand-stamped jewelry business!

Laura Pauling said...

I'm a stay at home mom, for now. Before having kids, I was an elementary teacher. And right now, I have no idea what the future will hold.

Anne Gallagher said...

restaurant business 25 years
automobile transportation 3 years
stay at home mom 5 years

JournoMich said...

It's funny, b/c I have a post in the works about writers and their jobs, too!

Me? I am a SAHM, but also a freelance journalist--I do TV news producing. I am very close to going back full-time.

I have never worked in anything other than news. I've been writing as long as I can remember, but only trying to get something published for about a year.

My two kids keep me plenty busy!

Writers Jailed today on SouthernCityMysteries

Robert Guthrie said...

I'm married. For 10 years I paid the bills, bought a house, provided the benefits while he was an actor, then a grad student. Two years ago we switched.

That time I was employed, I wrote nights and lunches. Attended evening classes and found writer groups. I wouldn't be where I am now if it weren't for all those years.

Beth Fred said...

I'm a paralegal and write at night. I've worked in retail, hospitality, and call centers too, but I've only been writing seriously since november and have been a paralegal.

Bidisha said...

I'm a student and right now, college is killing me. So I've been sacrifising on sleep to write!

Jaydee Morgan said...

I work a full-time day job and try to write in the evenings and weekends. As much as I would love to write full-time, I think I'd miss my day job. The trick will be finding a good compromise between both.

Alissa Grosso said...

Well, I've held a few jobs over the years including: outlet store sales associate, tavern wench, costumed tour guide, group tour coordinator, concert t-shirt seller, term paper writer, library circulation clerk, children's librarian, newspaper editor, and library sales representative.

Erica Mitchell said...

Im a stay at home back surgery reovering type writer. What pays the bills? The ArMy! But only for six more months so we are adjusting what needs to be done and looking for new work in new cities which is exciting. Although I am stay at home I am not full time writing at the moment...hopefully that will come back in to practice once he's home.
Jobs...sheesh order from 16
Walgreens clerk (aweful)
Merchandise specialist/traveling reset team (longest of them all)
Clinique retail
Disney World (merchentaintment lol)
Data Entry (suck)
Vagabond jewelry sales...?
Art Gallery
And there ya have it! Exciting life of basically retail.

Charity Bradford said...

Another SAHM here. Wish I could write all day, but I still have a 3 year old at home. I also compile and edit our neighborhood newsletter which averages 8-12 pages each month. I have to sell advertising to cover the cost of printing for 860 homes in our HOA. It doesn't pay nearly enough.

I also teach cooking classes to home school kids during the school year. The return is a little better than the newsletter. I pick up a cake order here and there, and somehow manage to fill the little gaps between what we need and what hubby brings home.

Unknown said...

It's fascinating to listen where you all started, what you are all doing to make the writing career take off, but also just showing that it's true when they say being a writer is hard work, reality gets in the way so much!

Erica, how funny Walgreens was one of my jobs as well... not one I would recommend to anyone!

Charity sounds like you do quite a bit of work to fill in the gaps, but it's all so interesting to cool!

Angie said...

So I had a lot of part time jobs in high school and college including Burger King, Walmart, a fabric store, and I cleaned up after pigs at the university where I currently work. In grad school I did research on tiny little worms and right now I'm a post doctoral associate in plant bio (genetics). I wish i were a SAHM though.

Jillian said...

I always joke joke that I have three full time jobs

Working at a law firm



and I try to squeeze in as much time as I can for writing. It would be awesome to make that my full time job!

Nighfala said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nighfala said...

I did not start writing until I became a SAHM. Well, I wrote in childhood and teen years, then gave it up in college because I had too much to do for my classes. Then came career and marriage.

I started writing again when my son was about a year and a half old. I saw that our local regional high school was offering an adult enrichment class in writing, and decided to participate. That was about six years ago.

I ran into a bad patch where writing consumed me and everything else sort of fell apart. It was difficult to contain the muse, but I eventually succeeded. Now I only write intermittently, when my brain is relaxed enough to concentrate and my other obligations are met. It's not very productive, but it's sane.

I've been teaching part-time for the past two years, but really it's full time because I have two part-time jobs. I have a post at my personal blog Christine's Cottage about my new full-time job starting soon. I'm afraid it will mean less time to write, but then it might actually be better if I have a permanent, regular schedule and don't have to spend my nights and weekends grading papers.

But to answer your question: I am none of those!

Nighfala said...

PS What pays the bills? I have a master's degree in statistics. I formerly did clinical trials (testing new treatments and medicines) but now am changing gears and doing marketing data analysis.

Anonymous said...

This made me smile.
I work at a clothing store by day or night sometimes. And the rest of the time, I'm a photographer, blogger, poetry lunatic, lover, and sister! :)
Have a wonderful day!


DL Hammons said...

I too have a full-time job where I put in ten hour days and I attempt to write at night and on the weekends. Even doing this I've managed to write two novels, several short stories, and keep up my blog.

During my 29 years after graduating from LSU I've only worked for three companies (one of those for less than a year). I'm as loyal to my I am to my friends! :)

Summer Ross said...

I'm a full time student at the University seeking my BA in English, (a little french in there too)

I'm a full time Mother of two brilliant children,

And I volunteer my free time to help my peers with English papers, and critique on a critique group and deliver groceries to older people who need them :)

Matthew MacNish said...

Well I was a union stagehand in Seattle for 8 years or so when I was in my 20s. It was awesome cause I got to meet rock stars and see concerts (and theatre, ballet and opera) for free sometimes and the pay was really good. But the work was inconsistent and some parts of the year there was very little work.

Now I do tech support as a corporate day job. It's a soul sucking nightmare but it pays the bills - and I write in my spare time.

Unknown said...

I'm a stay-at-home mom who is fortunate enough to have a quiet house from 7 am -3 pm every day. Of course, I'm supposed to split my time between housework, running errands, and volunteering at the school, but usually I write/blog most of the day. (shhhh, don't tell hubs!)

Talli Roland said...

What a great post Jen!

I'ma full-time writer now but in past I've been a TV reporter; a teacher; a recruiter; a PR manager... and on and on and on!

Carolyn V. said...

I'm a sahm of five kids, so I feel like I am constantly keeping them out of trouble or feeding them. I love them, but it's hard to find the time to write. School starts soon and I hope to have a few hours of silence to think about my wip. =)

Karen Lange said...

I was a stay at home mom for 21 years, and homeschooled my three kids K-12, did bookkeeping and secretarial work for my husband's business. During that time, I took some writing courses and also wrote for several newsletters and curriculum guides and other odds and ends. Now that my kids are out of school, I write part time, and still keep the books for hubby's biz.

Candyland said...

Oh've seen how many jobs I've had in my life (a zillion). But for the past 4 years, I've done the at-home-mommy thing while doing freelance here and there. We struggle a bit financially, but it's worth being home with my baby:)

Velvet Over Steel said...

I'm a single parent/Office Manager to pay the mortgage. I have 3 sons, youngest with Asperger Syndrome. I am constantly fighting for services and an education for him. I have also been through a great deal of trauma/experiences in my life and Finally started writing about 'some' of these many subjects for 2 reasons. I truely want to write to help others!! & I have to admit that it is very, very good therapy! :-) I've only been writing a short time... however I LOVE it and the I LOVE the wonderful people like you that I have met & are meeting every month! :-)
Blessings & Many Hugs,

Rose Cooper said...

I work full time for the State Tax Board during the day.

Writer by afternight (afternoon + nighttime)

Part time I do art events, festivals, etc.

Wife and mom to three very active boys, which also takes up plenty of time and without my husband, writing and art would not be possible!

Lenny Lee said...

hi miss jen! its real cool reading about people. for me now im a SAHS thats a stay at home student. ha ha. im a almost writer and im a professional hugger.:) for a job this summer i take care of peoples dogs sometimes. before now i was a SAHSK thats a stay at hospital sick kid. ha ha ...hugs from lenny

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately I'm in retail, and it bores the hell out of me. Yesterday at work, I folded shirts for TWO HOURS. Ugh.

Samantha Bennett said...

I'm a resume and cover letter writer. Lots of time behind my laptop. :)

Terry Stonecrop said...

This is interesting to see all the different jobs.

I work with my husband in his business now. Before that I worked as a journalist for six years. A short day was nine hours with no food. Generally, I worked 12-14 hours a day.

One summer, I worked for a private investigator so that helps me in my PI novel. I also did a little modeling.

Fun post! Oh, I plan to do your blog fest. Finally got the pic up on my site, btw.

I'll be posting it early, on the Tuesday before, because I'm anal about my weekly blog. But it will still be there on the 19th and I'll reveal the next day. Hope that's OK?

Amy Holder said...

Fun post! I had retail and server jobs at one point in my life too. Before my book contract, I worked for a social service agency as a program director. Now I do freelance art & writing work on the side while trying to juggle finishing my next book. It keeps me in a creative mindset, which is always good!

And I have no doubt that you'll become a full-time writer before you know it!

Terri Tiffany said...

I write fulltime but have been:
MH counselor
Bookstore owner
Social Worker

LTM said...

LOVE the shot of you in your Candyland T! :o)

I'm one of those ninja-fast typers b/c I have three "part-time" writing jobs, a FT job as a wife/mom, and then I try to cram writing around all that... Oh, but that's when I'm not volunteering at the school, helping at church, pretending to have a social life... ;p

M. said...

I'm a full time SAHM to 3 amazing teen daughters in the spring and summer and a high school cheerleading coach in the fall and winter. Oh man that's in like 3 weeks. O.O Anyway, staying involved in the lives of high school students has helped my adventures in YA writing, so I coach/research in a I have been on again off again writing for years, but I have been disappointed in the lack of girls-that-kick-butt books out there when I look for something for my girls to read. I decided this year is my year to find out if I have what it takes to go pro, so I planted my bottom on this chair and started cranking out the words and I nothing wills top me until it's finished and I have 20 ding letters. :)
Great post!!

Unknown said...

I have been a stay-home mom for the last ten years. During the winter months I usually write when the children are at school. Early in the a.m. during the summer months.

Before I turned over the home-maker leaf, I worked in the fields of Human resources, social work and public policy.

Melissa said...

Swing Manager at McDonalds.
Central Reservations at Sandman Hotels.
Full Time Student (Lit Degree).
Writer in free time.
Bartending student.

vic caswell said...

camp counselor, coffee shop worker, hostess, dishwasher, cleaning lady, data entry, bookstore clerk, selling painted rocks at flea markets, buying things at auction to sell on ebay, dietary worker in a nursing home, nurse's aide, cashier in a grocery store, postpartum aide, and now dietary worker at a hospital... i think that's all... :)

Anonymous said...

I graduated from drama school a few years ago, but life changed course and during that change I began to focus more and more on writing.

Now, it's retail during the day and write when I can.

Wishing for the day I can answer this question by sharing what I did before I became a full time writer!

Ellie Garratt said...

I work part-time at a supermarket, filling the books, CDs, and DVDs. I write inbetween. Hoping to make writing my full-time job one day!