I've been getting a bit restless working from home all day, every day, and I've started to think about day jobs versus career matches for professional fiction writers.
I'm familiar with the concept of a day job: employment, unrelated to writing, that pays the bills. I've worked at a video store, a community centre, for the police, and as a university administrator, all while pursuing writing as a calling --- in my spare time. And I thoroughly enjoyed all of those jobs and the different skill sets they entailed. I wouldn't hesitate to do any of them again, either. Part of me really thinks that it might actually be better in a writing life to have a job that gives you a break from writing.
But part of me is a little bit envious of my peers who are developing careers as professionals in other, non-artistic fields. I've never let myself consider anything (e.g. educational choices that might lead to practical career options) that might derail myself from "becoming a writer." I didn't go to law school, or library school, or even do a Ph.D. because it seemed to me that I could probably only productively pursue one goal, the only one which has ever had real ambition behind it. (What's the point of going to law school if you don't *really* want to be a lawyer? What's the point of doing a Ph.D if you don't *really* want to be a professor?)
But with a certain (admittedly modest) amount of credibility as a writer established, I've been wondering if there's anything else I'm suited for, beyond the solely administrative-type jobs I tend to gravitate towards, given my undying love of a nice spreadsheet. What do other writers do to pay the bills (besides writing gigs of varying kinds)? What should fiction writers naturally be good at? Here's what I've come up with so far:
Teaching (literature, language, writing), library sciences (I've been thinking seriously about this), journalism, publishing, editing, communications. And what about more overtly creative communications jobs? Advertising? Marketing? These seem like they would be good fits, too.
What am I leaving out? I'm remembering now that T.S. Eliot worked for a bank.