You don’t have to hate your job to be an author
On occasions, authors can see their writing as a means to ultimately escape the shackles of their nine-to-five drudgery. While this is a very worthwhile goal and undoubtedly a supreme motivator, it doesn’t always have to be the case. In fact, it is possible for the ‘real job’ to complement one’s non-fiction writing and I am one of those fortunate individuals.
As a boy, I dreamed of flying. It was a dream that became a reality and after flying professionally for more than thirty years, I still feel wonder as the earth falls away from the wheels. I have no intention of leaving my world above the clouds to write on a full-time basis, but writing still fills a pivotal, passionate role within my life.
Writing allows me the freedom to step outside the very technical world of aviation and its standard operating procedures. While I still write about aviation, I would rather describe the colours of a sunrise at 37,000 feet as those first rays break the horizon, than state that it occurs at 6:19am. And while aviation is a rich environment for creating content, many professions can offer a degree of synergy for authors.
So many hours are dedicated to a vocation, that a level of expertise is accumulated over time. It may be expertise directly associated with the task, or a skill set involving the management of time and/or people. Perhaps there is an element of operating outside of one’s comfort zone, or establishing a strategy to deal with making decisions. The list is seemingly limitless, but it is only when we sit down and clinically analyse what we actually do in our day-to-day that we truly appreciate its complexity.
This expertise can then be translated into content that can be directly complemented by the profession. It can open doors in terms of distributing content through industry journals, establishing a targeted audience from the outset and gaining exposure through related podcasts and speaking engagements. These are all marketing goals for any writer and sometimes they are already in place, just waiting to be executed. Furthermore, there may be access available that industry outsiders cannot attain. A full-time profession can also provide a level of fiscal stability and consequently a major weight can be lifted from the creative mind.
As with all things in life, there are no all-encompassing answers. For some authors, there is a genuine desire to break free and commit fully to the writer’s life and I respect this. However, it is also worth examining our life in closer detail as what we may deem mundane may actually be a source of significant writing content. Tap that well and always remember that you don’t have to hate your job to be an author.