Ankh Speaks: The Day Job

So over on Middle Child Press, Ankhesen Mie explains why artists being unemployed is not a good look.


I recently viewed a trailer for a film we shall not speak of here.  In the trailer, the protagonist is a struggling writer who totally sucksis having money problems because he won’t buckle down and get a damn day job.  He says that as a writer he has to “pay his dues”.

Some folks argue that the day job is the artist’s ultimate bane.  They feel they would be more productive if they didn’t have to go toil for someone else everyday.  They feel they belong with a cigarette and notepad on a park bench somewhere, watching the kids play like some child molester.  They think they’ll get more work done if they head out to the coffee house and surf the web for eight hours a day.  And then they wonder why their writing careers don’t go anywhere.

Mm-hm.  I feel the day job is the best way for a writer to pay their dues.  If you have a genuinely creative mind, you can use your job – whatever it be – as a source of inspiration.  And if you go the popular, cost effective self-publishing route – which I highly recommend – you have complete control over your own material which, last time I checked, is every writer’s dream.

Many cigarette smoking, coffee house writers are often seen as ignorant, naive, and idealistic.  The lack of a day job and the glamorization of the “starving artist” tends to keep them out of touch with reality.  They’re limiting their interactive circle, and by being financially negligent, they’re actually causing increasing problems in the long-term (starving artist ironically tend to have gourmet tastes in fashion, food, and furniture).

Fashion tip from Moi: knowing that your bills are paid and you’ll always have a place to sleep does wonders for the creative mind because even though you’re pretty tired at the end of the day, you’re not stressing out.


Speculative Fiction Novelist. Author of Hollowstone, West of Sunset and other cool stories. Wordsmith, activist and nerd seraph. Saving the world and/or taking it over.