kt literary client Matthew Cody, mentioned yesterday in my post about Catherine Cheek’s thoughts on managing work, had his own thoughts on balancing a writing life with “the very likely day-job.” Matt took offense (but in a very friendly sort of way) with Catherine’s statement:
I think it’s helpful to think of writing as a hobby instead of a career. For most of us, that’s all it will ever be. Hobby might seem derivative, but it shouldn’t be. Most people care more about their hobbies than their “real jobs”. Just because it’s a hobby doesn’t mean you can’t excel at it or that it’s not meaningful.
Matt replied, in a post cunningly titled “In which the author of this blog tries to start a blog war with another very nice author out of a desperate need for attention and/or nothing better to do before bed”:
I certainly agree that writers must come up with a financial safety net, whether that is a day-job with benefits or employed spouse. But I’ve known several aspiring authorly friends over the years whose writing careers ended not with a bang or whimper, but with the words “I’m more of a hobby writer now.”
It takes such devotion, such a ridiculous faith-in-one’s own worth to be a writer that I think it needs to always be at the front of your ambition. A writer needs to cover the basic hierarchy of needs, and that usually comes in the form of a day job, but that is only to support the writing.
So… whose side are you on? Or new advice to share?
And in other, exciting news, I’m pleased as punch to announce a new addition to the kt literary stable. Please welcome Stephanie Perkins, and her blog Natural/Artificial.