Monday, June 25, 2012


This week's topics are about day jobs and how they relate to writing. I am in a bit of a different situation than most because my day job is owning a tattoo shop. I work when I want and get paid well. If I am at the shop and not actually tattooing then I can use that time to write. The majority of all the writing I do is done at the shop. I am not quitting anytime soon. When I do retire from tattooing I will still be able to run and own the shop with no problem. So I will always have a day job, no matter how successful my writing becomes.

However, I know a LOT of writers, both published and prepublished. They almost all have day jobs. I know NYT Bestsellers who still work the day job. Mostly for the additional benefits that come with it. So when should you quit and write full time? When you can afford to.

 It's a simple answer that is complex as hell and Jeffe did a great job yesterday covering a lot of the mechanics of it. But to write full time you are going to need either health insurance, which is astronomical, or no family to need insurance. If you are young and single then you can be a full time writer living on someone's couch. But have a kid, or even just a spouse and suddenly you need to look at benefits. Or you spouse has to hold the normal job to provide the bennies. It's math and economics.

The majority of us will always work a day job.

 Writing is wonderful, but the pie is getting smaller and the mouths that want a piece more numerous. Most of us have commitments (houses, spouses, kids with stomachs, etc) and those commitments are next to impossible to meet on the pay schedule writing gives you. So if you are still working and writing afterwards, join the club.

 Don't feel bad about it.

 Dream the dream but keep on making words. Don't get discouraged in anyway if you can't stop working the day job. It doesn't mean you are less successful than anyone else. You make your life work for you.

And now to provide some visual stimulation here some stuff I did at my day job. :)


  1. You do gorgeous work, James. I love how that butterfly turned out.

  2. Thank you. That was knocked out in just over 2 hours.

  3. Since the first two are zombie related, I have to assume the butterfly is also a zombie.