Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Quitting the Day Job.. or Not

As I think a lot of you know, my day job is that of a Special Projects Producer at the NBC station in Boston. What that means is that I produce feature stories for the 11pm and morning newscasts. They're producer driven stories, meaning that the reporter is not involved except when it comes to reading the script I wrote. So I take the project from conception to finished product.

It's a fun job and I learn a little bit about everything. In the past I've covered political events like the Democratic National Convention, interviewed celebrities such as Kevin Spacey, exposed a "deadly ride" at Disneyland, went on a UFO hunt deep in the interior of Mexico, went undercover to bad dog breeders, etc. etc. So it totally runs the gambit.

Anyhow, every time I see someone from work in the hall, their first question is "When does your book come out?" (May, still May!!) And that's usually followed by something along the lines of, "When do you think you'll be able to get the hell of this place?" said in an envious tone. Then I laugh and say, "Not for a while!"

It seems like most authors and author wannabees see "quitting the day job and writing full time" as their ultimate goal. And while I have to admit it does sound heavenly to wake up around 10am and leisurely stroll downstairs in my flannel pajamas to type a little before heading over to get my nails done, I wonder if I would miss my day job if I did someday quit. Because when all's said and done, at the end of the day, I like being a tv news producer. It's fun and rewarding and interesting. I like the adrenalin rush. Creating segments and putting them on the air. Oh and I like having coworkers to chat with and go to lunch with. I wonder if the isolation of being a full time author would drive me crazy.

At the same time, if I am lucky enough to be successful at this author thing, won't I want to dedicate all my time to it? And how will I balance that with a full time job? Even now, before my first book has been released, I'm so busy it's crazy. Every second of my day seems to be scheduled to an inch of its life. I wake up at 6am to write til 8:15. Rush to get ready then jump on the commuter train to Boston and write more. Work from 10-6 at the day job, then hit the gym. Get home around 8:30 for a couple hours of free time with the husband (And usually some quality video gaming- hey a girl has to have some fun!) and then bed at 11 -11:30. YAWN.

Anyhow, I'm not complaining. It's a good position to be in - to like both your jobs!!! And only time will tell if I'll ever even get the option to quit the full time one, whether I decide I want to or not. But I would be interested to hear from other authors on what it was like to quit their day jobs and if they ever regret the decision.

Marianne

3 comments:

Natalie Graham said...

>>And while I have to admit it does sound heavenly to wake up around 10am and leisurely stroll downstairs in my flannel pajamas to type a little before heading over to get my nails done, I wonder if I would miss my day job if I did someday quit. <<

This is completely condescending to people who work from home. You assume we all sleep late, eat bonbons and sit around in pjs and not do real work like your day job. And I won't even comment on the nail painting remark that is so snotty it's not funny. There are plenty of people -- including me -- who work full time from home, who are responsible, able to dress ourselves and get as much work done as you in your office. You should think more before you put your foot in your mouth. This is the last time I'll read your blog.

Anonymous said...

"So it totally runs the gambit. "

ummm...you should know the saying is 'runs the gamut'

Marianne Mancusi said...

>>This is completely condescending to people who work from home.<<

Oh my gosh - no, no, no! That's not what I was trying to say at all!! Please don't misunderstand me!

I know that working from home is not ACTUALLY like the bon bon eating fantasy I was describing in my post. And that people making a living working from home work as hard if not harder than those in an office. I was trying to make the point (badly it seems) of the "work from home" fantasy that people who work in offices often have. Like "If only I could quit my day job, things would be heavenly..."

Honestly, I am very much in awe of people who actually work from home and are able to make a living doing so. And I know the reality isn't bon bons and nail appointments. That was just me being flippant and I'm sorry if my post and offended you or anyone else as it was not my intention.

Marianne
PS Gamut not gambit. Yes. Right. This is what I get for posting fast..