Do you have a day job? (other than writing, that is...)
Mine is an awesome one, and I do love it but sometimes, I ache for more time to write.
I happened on a book called Literary Miscellany: Everything You Wanted to Know About Literature by Alex Palmer, and it reminded me that I'm in good company.
In fact, no one's first day job was "getting published"! In fact, some famous authors worked day jobs that I'd consider less than conducive to writing. Just take a look:
- T.S. Eliot was a clerk for Lloyds Bank of London for eight years. He is said to have composed The Waste Land while walking to work each day.
- J.D. Salinger was entertainment director for a Swedish luxury liner. (He set one of his short stories, "Teddy," on a liner...so he put his day job to good use!)
- Did you know John Steinbeck was a construction worker on Madison Square Garden? He was also a fruit picker, an apprentice painter, and an estate caretaker before quitting to become a full-time writer.
- Stephen King worked as a janitor for a high school while waiting for his big publishing break. The high school setting served as inspiration for the opening locker room scene in Carrie.
I count myself no where near this literary crowd, but I think back to my first, as in most important, "day job" of adulthood - mothering a bunch of boys. My first book? Yes, I was outnumbered...and those "lessons in the lively art of raising boys" got me a book contract!
And in my day job now? I get to read and talk about great works of literature! I get to write and encourage (Translation: sometimes prod!) students to write. We get to dialogue about the great themes of life and the people who express them.
Yes, I'm blessed to have a "day job" I love. And I'm reminded by Ephesians 5:15-16 to handle that time and experience wisely:
"Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, beause the days are evil."
And if you read on, a couple of verses later, scripture says, "...always giving thanks to God the Father for everything..." That job is His provision for me. He's placed me there, with those I see each day, for reasons larger than I know.
Who knows where you'll go with the experiences He's given you?
Yet another author, Dr. Seuss, said it well:
"You're off to Great Places
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So ... get on your way!"