“Don’t Quit Your Day Job”

The advice that authors (and artists) are given. Not always in that snotty tone that implies one’s craft sucks and should be given up on, but still. 

Authors and artists do not make it big. I’ve heard a lot of indie authors are funded by the bank of Spouse. Or parents. 

These are the same ones who always seem to be saying: “Just pay for marketing!”

Uhm, with what money? 

So I’ve been told several times that the best advice for an indie author is to not quit their day job. You know, so you can pay your bills and eat and access the Internet you probably need to publish your stories.

Then it’s keep writing. They say that like it’s difficult, but then get irritated when you ask what else. Like they’re hoping after the writing you just go back and struggle at it.

You may, writing may take you a great deal longer than it takes me. I’m classified as an exception to the rule. A full length book every month, or even in eight days, is highly unusual.

But what happens once you get that rhythm down, and you do keep writing? What if writing has never been the problem? Then what’s the advice?

It’s still: don’t quit your day job. 

Unless you’re writing a ten thousand word erotica a week, or more, for publication  and you have a name for yourself, you’re situated, chances are you aren’t going to be quitting your job any time soon.

Beth knows a bit about business and retail. Which is kind of interesting.

“It takes five years to build a business and about four seconds to fucking it up,” she says. “So, Aya, don’t quit your day job.”

Not because she thinks I’ll screw it up, though that is still a distinct possibility, but because she’s trying to look out for me.

My stories are a great deal darker than most I’ve come across. It takes a certain reader to enjoy them, and those readers are out there. Finding them, reaching them, takes a great deal of time.

How dark are my stories? I dunno, but the last time I had a fluff moment and shared it, the reaction was, “Oh God, you’re going to kill them both, light their dog on fire, and steal their house, aren’t you?”

For a fluff moment! 

I didn’t do that, just two weeks of hell, six months of recovery and then about and six more months of stress as they went through a trial.

My day job is paying my way, it’s going into my writing. I don’t get new clothing or expensive Christmas gifts. I cannot afford a new computer, or to go on vacation.

There is no sponsor for me. No Bank of Mom and Dad. Or of Dorian. I think the poor man being a muse is enough.

“You want me to what, with the what, now?”

“Be a little more sadistic, just for tonight.”

Why?

“I’m writing another BDSM trilogy.”

“Okay, but this time I want warning if you’re going to show up at my place and make demands while my parents are over.”

“You’re the one who didn’t tell me they were visiting.”

He is quite entertained, I think, by my new pursuits. It eats up my time so I don’t bother him.

But it all winds back to not quiting your day job.

Which is why I’m sitting on a fucking bus at 6am, having gotten up at 4am after working twelve hours yesterday to go back into work to fix the problems someone else caused and continues to cause.

The other option was to continue on as we were, but I was starting to get physically sick from the stress. 

I want to quit my day job.

Two full time jobs for most of the year aren’t really a problem. The past three months though have been terrible for my stress level. This isn’t the way it should be going, I shouldn’t need to alter my schedule to do this, but one bad apple and it’s absolute insanity. 

It’s not training, it’s simple not caring. I also don’t care to attempt to retrain someone who is resolutely refusing to even play nicely with the others and will be leaving us come January. Retraining simply takes far too much energy when you can’t spray a person in the face with a squirting bottle.

And… when you can’t actually say the word “bad.”

When I get this stressed, I like to write. To take my frustrations out on my characters. Which could be why my books have become exceedingly more dangerous for the main characters. Now I have the perfect setup, Nathaniel as slave to his Master, but I can’t write.

Because I had to alter my schedule and work longer hours because someone can’t be bothered to do more than the barest part of her job.

Suppose then, I have two pieces of advice. Don’t quit your day job, and do your day job. 

Though the last portion may be unwarranted as the amount of work necessary to be an indie author tends to mean that we work all day, every day. We are go getters and self-motivated achievers. 

At least writing this post on my commute has let me ignore how tired I am, and how desperately I want wine.

Christmas tradition, don’t drink between Halloween and Christmas. Don’t know how it started, but healthy for you! If you aren’t in a low stress job with a high stress coworker.

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