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I love writing. I really do. The joy of hitting the publishing button still makes me giggle, and I look forward to doing it again a few more times this year.

That said I'd never want to give up my day job. I also love software development, and my fear is that if I wrote full time I'd burn out. I love that it can supplement my income, but that I don't have to rely on it. I get to tell fun stories and if I have a book flop it's no big deal.

Does anyone else feel this way? Or are you aspiring to write full time? For those that do write full time do you ever miss your previous career?
 

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Writing full-time was always the plan. It just took a loooooong time to get there! Kindle's changed my life.

Miss my previous 'career'? Hell no. I was a secretarial temp and I loathed every minute of it.
 

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People who want to quit their jobs to write full time dislike their jobs to start with.  If you like your job, stick with it.

I write full time, but I wouldn't want to use it for my only income.
 

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I've been writing full-time for the past decade or so, primarily as a freelance writer in the tech/games/film world. I'm a bit of a nerd about writing, so I love it. I started out as a beat reporter but eventually shifted to freelancing a few years later, and have been self-employed full time for many years now. My previous day job as a reporter was a great started gig, but I can't imagine every going back to any sort of 9-5 "day job" at this point. Being self-employed and writing full-time (I also am a part-time indie game dev), is where it's at for me.

That said, I gather that writing fiction or solely-creative writing would be a lot harder to sustain than doing journalism-style or other non-fiction oriented work, which is my bread and butter.

I've ramped up my self-publishing output in the past year or so and plan to double that this year. My goal is make book writing (and online courses from my books) a bigger chunk of my battleplan going forward.

Like with all things, I think finding a balance is super important. For me that triangle looks like: freelancing --> game development --> book writing --> repeat. So I shift gears for a bit when I start getting fatigued with one area of my writing/creative work.

If you dig your job though, I'd say stick with it and keep the words flowing on the book front all-the-while!
 

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After 20 years in software development and corporate America I was happy and relieved to give up the day job. The great thing about writing full time is if you feel burned out you can take a few days off and do something else.  I always say I'm going to take a week off between books but I barely get through two days before I'm itching to start the next one. 
 

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Writing is my retirement plan, so I'm not racing to be able to afford to quit the day job. (But I'm not planning to wait until "retirement age" to "retire" either--anywhere from 50 on is good.)  I made the decision for two reasons: 1) I didn't save for retirement  :eek:, and 2) I can't just "retire"--it might be fun the first couple months, catching up on reading and maybe getting the house clean, but my brain needs to work on things, it needs projects and challenges. I don't want to do what I do for a living for the entire rest of my life. I'm hoping "the rest of my life" includes a lot of years yet, and I've already been doing the thing I've been doing for almost twenty. So I figure 25 years of growing up, 25 years of what I do for a living now, 25 years of writing full time...and I'll reassess at 75. :)
 

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I want the ability to walk away from my day job.

The reality is that having to get up and go to work and interact with people every day is good for me, no matter how I feel about it on a given day. I recognize this even when I'd love to leave my keys and badge on the desk and walk away.

Enforced routine is chafing, but it forces me to organize my day, set deadlines, and observe humans that are not part of my family. Without that, I tend to let the day drift away without getting much done.
 

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I didn't plan to write full time but it happened that way. I worked in software development too and I do miss that kind of work. I don't miss having to go to an office every day though. I have thought about skilling up in app development so I keep doing some coding work but maybe just for the fun of it not as a primary income source.
 

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MyraScott said:
I want the ability to walk away from my day job.

The reality is that having to get up and go to work and interact with people every day is good for me, no matter how I feel about it on a given day. I recognize this even when I'd love to leave my keys and badge on the desk and walk away.

Enforced routine is chafing, but it forces me to organize my day, set deadlines, and observe humans that are not part of my family. Without that, I tend to let the day drift away without getting much done.
^this
 

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Z. Rider said:
Writing is my retirement plan, so I'm not racing to be able to afford to quit the day job. (But I'm not planning to wait until "retirement age" to "retire" either--anywhere from 50 on is good.) I made the decision for two reasons: 1) I didn't save for retirement :eek:, and 2) I can't just "retire"--it might be fun the first couple months, catching up on reading and maybe getting the house clean, but my brain needs to work on things, it needs projects and challenges. I don't want to do what I do for a living for the entire rest of my life. I'm hoping "the rest of my life" includes a lot of years yet, and I've already been doing the thing I've been doing for almost twenty. So I figure 25 years of growing up, 25 years of what I do for a living now, 25 years of writing full time...and I'll reassess at 75. :)
I'm at 50 so I've done the 25 years of growing up and the 25 years of doing what I do for a living but I just got started so I'll have to hold off on the beginning the last 25 year plan :p

I also moved around a lot and have almost nothing saved for retirement so while the first motivation to write was from my heart and for my kids the next is along the same lines as Z Rider here, maybe I can do something longer term with this... maybe....
 

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Right now I work several part-time jobs - teaching college English, finding jobs for disabled people, managing give-away displays at a local store on the weekends, and I see writing as a fourth. Along with the writing, I'd never willingly give up the teaching. I've seen it make a huge difference in the lives of people of all ages, and that can be as addictive as writing itself.

Juggling all these part-time jobs isn't an easy life, and seeing any one of them turn into something full-time, with insurance, with reliable income, etc., would be great. I could philosophize on that awhile, I suppose, but I think that might be all there is to say!  :)
 

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My day job is freelancing (writing, editing, and web coding…and I do some file formatting and tutoring). I pretty much need variety, so even when self-publishing becomes my primary job, I don't see myself giving up the other things entirely.
 

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I don't actually have a day job...I'm a full-time PhD student, and I work one day a week in the university library. The plan has always been to go into academia once I graduate, but if writing happens to become a full-time possibility, I'd do it in a heartbeat. Not because I don't want the day job. I would love to stay in academia. It's just that nothing else inspires the same type of passion for me that writing does.
 

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I'm writing full-time now and I'm also working a day job. I'd like to change my day job from working in a cubicle farm to going back to working in a bookstore, but no matter what day job I have, I'll be writing full time. I've written almost 170,000 words this year so far and that's about as full-time as I can imagine right now. I want the day job for the ability to get out of the house and interact with people. The health benefits are slightly less important, since I could get hooked onto my wife's benefits if needed.

At some point it could be nifty to have just the writing as my sole source of income and sole 'job', but it's not a critical goal right now. Writing, publishing, hitting my writing goals and working to my business plan is keeping me plenty busy.
 

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I'm in Kathrynnoh's shoes. I never aspired to be a writer/author. I mean, I did yearbook, and newspaper, and all of the things aspiring authors do as students (reading more than anything, writing my own stories with friends etc), but I never wanted to BE a writer/author professionally.

Making the decision to marry my husband at 23 though changed what I could and could not do. Since then, I will have lived in 5 different states in 10 years coming this summer. There are few professional careers you can just pack and up and move when the Navy says "Here's your orders!" LOL. Even careers like teaching or medical etc. usually have state specific requirements so it's a real pain for military spouses to continue their careers elsewhere.

A few spouses I know do work from home stuff for their previous employer, and I almost took a position with Alcoa, who I was working for when we first started moving, that would have had me traveling 2 weeks a month to various plant sites to work on their document compliance systems. I turned down the position because with him being gone 60-80% of the year when he's on sea duty, we wouldn't have had much of a marriage with me traveling 50% of the year.

I suppose I am in the camp that can't imagine going back to 9-5 anything. I tried last year for a few months working at a daycare center as an Assistant Director. I am addicted to the flexibility, creativity, and providing for my family in the all important non-financial ways (being there for sick kids, going to awards assemblies at 11 AM, meeting hubby for lunch dates, handling the family business of car registrations, real estate transactions, provision acquisition aka grocery shopping, etc) that I know my quality life, and those of my loved ones, would suffer if I went back. They did last year, though it was nice reminder for all involved that being Mom is work I was doing they grossly underappreciated. :)
 

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In a sense I write full-time right now; my chronic fatigue syndrome makes it impossible for me to hold another job. Working at home for myself, on my own hours and deadlines, is ideal for my health situation. I'm fortunate that I don't have to worry about earning a living with my writing (right now I'm still at pizza money levels) because my husband is able to support us with his career. But his work is stressful, and at this point, about 10 years from retirement age, he doesn't think he'll ever be able to afford to retire. Not that he plans to anyway; after his parents retired, they just sat around doing nothing and really deteriorated, mentally and physically. He doesn't want to end up like that. But I would love it if I could earn enough from writing to take some of the pressure off of him so he could cut back on his long hours sometime or move to a different field that's less stressful without worrying about how much it pays. His dream is to be a race car mechanic or a techno music producer (or both!) and I would love to be able to make it possible for him to have some time to pursue his dreams.
 

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Quite a few of us in software development....
I work as a technical author with multiple development teams. I suppose I actually quite enjoy this. I'm always insecure though about how long my services are going to be in demand (the CEO recently told the business that his plans are to get the software so good they don't need help files <ahem> "I'm sitting right here.")

I do get to work from home 2 or 3 days a week and that means my work life balance is pretty good. I'm able to spend time with the kids, get a working day in, and write 1000-2000 words of fiction a day.

If my situation changes and I start earning more money from fiction, I'd definitely consider leaving the day job, but I'm satisfied with my lot right now.
 

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I used to love my day job, but the state of newspapers today is terrible. Owners don't care about quality reporting, and they just keep cutting staff. My former newspaper can barely get an edition out now and they're looking to do more cuts. That made deciding to leave when I had enough money put away (and was rocketing past my monthly day job numbers) quite easy. It was the best decision I ever made.
 
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