Thursday, 11 April 2013

J is for Job

Until June 2012, writing was, for me, a hobby that I was trying to make a little money at. My full time job was as a project manager. However, then redundancy loomed and, for me, it was a time to take stock and decide if I wanted to change direction in my career: it was. I calculated from the redundancy payout that I had up to a year to concentrate on increasing my writing portfolio and begin to generate a readership for my books before I had to start looking for a new job.

Thus, from that June until Feb 2013, I put my head down and began working as a writer, publisher, publicist and anything else I needed to be to raise my writing profile. My efforts have been moderately successful and continue, but in late Feb, an opportunity arose which offered me half-time work as a project manager, a guaranteed income, and, being of a practical nature, I decided that splitting my time between a salaried job and writing was a fair compromise to allow me to continue pursuing my dream long term.

So, it's a win/win situation and, before I go on, I want to say that I feel extremely lucky that this opportunity came along.

However, since announcing this to friends and family, I have been irked by a certain response which, although not universal when it did arise, made me want to throw things. Some of my friends congratulated me on getting a proper job and that attitude got to me. I have been working incredibly hard, sometimes upwards of 15 hours a day to write, edit, format, publish, publicise and network my books and I consider myself a writing professional with two years of experience running my own publishing company. Just because the returns are modest in monetary terms and I cannot yet earn a living wage with my writing does not mean it is any less a career and worthy of being called a proper job.

I am proud of the skills I have developed as a project manager. Even if I say so myself, I'm good at it and I can put some of those skills to use in the writing business as well as IT. Those skills also, at the moment, bring in my major income. However, that does not mean I see them as better, or more important than the skills I have and will always continue to develop as a writer. I do not assess my success by how much money  each set of skills is worth.

As far as I am concerned, I have two jobs that demand equal time and effort from me regardless of which one pays the most, because that is what I have committed to. One is a long term goal, the other is short term practicality, but each is as valid as the other.

Money is not everything and I think we should stop judging worthiness by how much income something can generate.

P.S. Check out other folk doing the A to Z April Challenge.

And if you want to see my other posts:


  1. Hi Sophie, I think you should ignore the responses you have had an just do what you are doing. It is not everyone that finds a job they enjoy or get to do something they love doing for a career. We only have one chance in this life and you are right, it not just about money. Money helps but it is not everything.


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