“Don’t quit your day job.” That is the advice spewed across the internet when it comes to freelance writing. That advice stings, but it is honest counsel given to the barrage of us who simply want to make a living doing what we love. The problem is that desiring something, even working hard at something, doesn’t pay the bills. Money does. So, this well meant advice is applicable, because, unless you have a financially supportive family or are independently wealthy, you are going to need your day job to pay those bills while you build your freelance writing clientele.
Does that mean that the situation is hopeless? Of course not! What it does mean is that you have to consider your situation honestly and learn to work with what you have. Consider these questions:
- What are your priorities? Know what matters and put that in first place. For one week, keep track of what you do with your time. After that week, analyze how you spend your time. What is really important? What ate up most of your time? By making some adjustments, you may find the time needed to pursue writing without sacrificing much needed income.
- What are your goals? See where you want to be and visualize the steps needed to get there. As your business grows, more time will be needed to devote to it. For now though, work in baby steps to reach that main goal. Gradually, the increased income from writing will allow you to phase out other work.
- What do you need in life? This is a tough one. I am speaking of pure numbers here. Do you need cable? Is a home phone a necessity? Could you prepare more meals at home rather than eating out? Is planting a garden an option? The more self-sufficient you are, the less you will need that day job. Consider analyzing your budget in much the same manner as you have analyzed your time. Look for money wasters, such as brand name shopping and drive-thru snacks.
The next time you see those harsh words, “Don’t quit your day job,” remember those words are a reminder of the grim reality that it isn’t easy to make life changes. But changing your perspective may be exactly what is needed to jumpstart your writing career. For my part, I do live without cable or a home phone. I do not eat out as much as I used to. I shop at second hand stores, I have learned to bake bread, and I am learning to garden. Not only am I saving tons of money, but I enjoy my new lifestyle. Living a simpler life allows for more time and flexibility, and it shines a bright light on the possibility of quitting your day job.
About the Author
Jael Strong is a writer for TheWriteBloggers.com, a company dedicated to creating professional blogging content for increased internet visibility.