Friday, April 13, 2012

A Writer At Home

Most writers have a day job.   We dream of making it big and being able to dedicate our lives to our art, but such dreams are not always realistic.  I have been very lucky.   I loved my day job.  My day job was a daily inspiration to me and served to make me a better writer and a better person.   I was a psychologist and my job gave me the rare opportunity to truly know people and help people.  Although I was there to help others,  my patients helped me by showing me themselves.  They helped me by allowing me to know people the way few people ever do.   This has helped my writing and my latest book, Circe, is driven by psychology.  That psychology is part of what is making Circe my most successful book. 

Over the last few months, I have been lucky enough to give up my day job and stay home and write.  This was my dream for a very long time, but now that my day job is gone, I really miss it.  I know many professionals become writers, but I wonder how many of them miss their job when it is gone?  Writing is wonderful, but I miss the real world and the beauty that it brought to me.  I also have to wonder if being at home isn't diminishing my writing.  In the end, I believe it does.   Writing is as much an observational act as a creative one.  Shaping characters and places that are believable requires the writer to observe and understand people and places.  So even though I am a writer at home now, I know that I will eventually go back to my day job.  I will go back because I love my day job and because it makes me a better writer.  

4 comments:

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Observation apposed to loneliness is different for everyone. But if you turn off the distractions such as music and other interruptions, and listen to your memories, you will create something unique. Play the inner music, feel the past, bury yourself in the characters' lives and then decide if you need your day job.

January Bain said...

Jessica, what a profound post. I to enjoy my day job of teaching and I am certain it has made me a better writer. I cannot help but think of the insights you have been privy too. No wonder you miss helping people!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Very interesting post, Jessica. I've found it more difficult to remain focused beacuse I work from home now. And I need the contact I have with friends and other writers.

Chad Aaron Sayban said...

Great post! There is something to be said for limited writing time giving you a focus that you might lose if you had "all the time in the world." I'm not sure how I would handle it, but your post has made me really think about it.