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Time Travel: Writing's Not a Real Job

By Clogsandtulips @clogsandtulips
I'm off on vacation until September 6th. But just because I'm taking a break doesn't mean you get to too! To keep your little writer/reader minds sharp, here are some past posts I thought you might enjoy. See you next week!
Writing's not a real job originally posted on January 6, 2011
Time Travel: Writing's not a real jobWhen I was little -- as young as 9 or 10 -- I wanted to be a paleontologist. Yup, I wanted to spend my adult life digging up dinosaurs.
I knew all kinds of random facts about any dinosaur you could name. In fact, I was more likely to refer to them by their official latin names than the more pedestrian terms.
I'd spend hours at the dinosaur exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. All my school supplies were dinosaur themed and I had dinosaur collector's cards and toys gallore.
Now that's a real job. One where you go to school to learn the craft, apply to a related firm, and work a specified number of hours under an employer for a specified monthly salary.
But as the years went on, I began to realize that there was too much of a creative and artistic side to me to ignore. I got into theater and acting, spending years studying and performing. Then, I moved to the Netherlands, where theater and musicals aren't such an integral art form.
So I turned to writing as a creative outlet. And I discovered that I loved it. It's something I like to think of myself as good at, and have been doing pretty well in considering I just started a little over a year ago.
Now that I feel I'm really starting to open doors with my writing, I've been faced with the problem that those close to me see writing as a hobby. Not a job. You can't count on a steady salary and there are no benefits (like healthcare, paid vacation, and pension) attached. I'm being urged to stop 'fooling around' and get a 'real job.'
Of course there's nothing wrong with a steady office job and I know that these people want what's best for me. While I agree that it may be time for me to look into part-time employment, I hesitate to buy into the idea that writing isn't a real job.
Though I haven't figured out how to change the minds of naysayers, I was able to get my first guest post (first as in first non-expat post) out of it. My post "Writing's not a real job" was featured on Meghan Scheussler's blog Earth Girls Aren't ALL Easy.
What do you think? Is writing a real job or just a hobby? How have you convinced others to see it in the same light you do?
Image: Maciej Chojnacki, Flickr
© 2011 Tiffany Jansen, writer

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