Author Topic: struggling to stay interested in day job as side hustle grows  (Read 1265 times)

Nick_Miller

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Anyone else experiencing this?

My day job still accounts for over 90% of my income, but my side hustle (fiction writing) is picking up steam. I hope to earn $15,000 in writing income this year, which frankly, based on surveys and other data, seems to put me above most "hobby writers." I have a Patreon account, and I'm actually getting supporters. Another publishing company approached me recently and wants me to pitch them. They offer a $10,000 advance, paid in chunks over the course of draft development. No, this is not "big money" in the big scheme of things, but I feel like I'm heading in the right direction.

The problem is that I find writing fiction, networking with authors/publishers, connecting with readers, branding myself as a creative, to be much more interesting and fulfilling than my law job, but there's no way the law job is going anywhere, at least not for another couple of years. We have to build our net worth. And I still have law school debt (although it's rapidly shrinking).

So how do you maintain interest in your main job once you've discovered a "side hustle" that's more fun, personally rewarding, and that you are more passionate about? Especially when you recognize it's going to take years longer to try to make the transition?

Writer_Girl

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Re: struggling to stay interested in day job as side hustle grows
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2018, 09:10:56 AM »
I am in a similar circumstance.  I have what I assume most writers would consider a decent amount of success, freelance projects I'm working on, a multiple books out from major publishers.  Right now, I have enough opportunities falling in my lap that I could completely replace my income on a project basis.

HOWEVER.

I still work full-time.

ALSO.

Books/freelance does NOT come with the health insurance my job does.

ALSO.

I had an editor advise me that you should NOT quit your day job until you have REGULAR royalties coming from MULTIPLE sources (in case one dries up) in that can cover your expenses, and I think that's good advice.

ALSO.  The writing world is fickle AF. I am honored DAILY to be a part of it, but I am reminded it could all dry up and go away in a moment.  In a world where making 15k making you a top earner...that SUCKS.  I mean, we both know you are doing REALLY FREAKING WELL, but like...come on writing world, catch up. Pay writers fairly.

Lastly, I don't hate my job, and there are times where my creative brain needs a break, and it helps me to fall into the day-to-day of my day job.

I sort of feel like that was a lot of "be careful!" splatter, but hopefully it helps. :)
« Last Edit: July 21, 2018, 09:12:43 AM by Writer_Girl »

Roadrunner53

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Re: struggling to stay interested in day job as side hustle grows
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2018, 09:41:46 AM »
Not sure if this would be of any interest to you but my last job I did a lot of technical writing for a research company. I was not educated in this field but learned on the job and my boss critiqued my work. It was a great experience and I really got into it. There were times I would get on a roll late in the afternoon and had to go home. They didn't want to pay OT so I had to leave.

It is nothing like writing fiction but it could satisfy your creative side. This kind job takes a lot of patience, you must be very detail oriented and organized. You might be able to take some college courses on Technical writing and get into it quickly since you already have a college education.

I worked directly with engineers. They were all really horrid on keeping up on their project reports. I had to help them write reports that were already behind a year or more. I would work on as many as 15+ reports at a time. I would get so far and have to consult with the engineer further to get more information. Sometimes they were busy or out of the building for the day so I just would start working on something else. Very busy work and so interesting! Switching gears from one report to another was a challenge too!

FreelanceToFreedom

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Re: struggling to stay interested in day job as side hustle grows
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2018, 10:09:52 AM »
Have you considered cutting back hours at your day job, to focus more energy on writing?

It may not be the most fiscally sound option, but I'm a believer in pursuing your passions.

Also, consider ways you could diversify your writing income. Obviously writing fiction should be your focus, but you could supplement that and gain more steady (and better-paying) writing jobs by freelancing. Particularly with your law experience, I'm sure you could land some fairly lucrative contracts.

Writing will likely never pay as much per-hour as a law career, but you can make good money if you don't mind writing more commercial content sometimes. For reference, I typically make between $50 and $90 per hour, and I have no degree or formal certifications. I write mostly run-of-the-mill blog content, buying guides, reviews, etc. and dabble in some small-business copywriting. Copywriting can easily exceed $100 or $150 an hour if you are skilled and have references.

I'm a full-time freelance writer. Feel free to ask if you have any questions.

Nick_Miller

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Re: struggling to stay interested in day job as side hustle grows
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2018, 09:48:34 AM »
Crap, I just realized there were responses!

@Writer_Girl, yes your spatter was helpful! I am in the middle of trying to diversify my writing income as we speak. I work with one publisher, and they've been great (my work with them accounts for pretty much all of my writing income thus far), but I want to find new/more readers so I'm working with a new publisher as well to try to get my name out in front of a different audience. I also make small amounts on Patreon, and with merchandising, etc.

I'm still grinding away at my day job, and I had set a goal of reaching $300K net worth and then re-assessing whether I should go to PT at my law job and write FT. But, I realize that house value/equity doesn't really mean much if you aren't going to move, so to be more conservative, I might chance my goals to: 1) saving up $250K stache, 2) paying off all debt, including mortgage, and 3) saving up $50K in cash, all while keeping my writing business growing for the next 2-3 years.  That would have us at around $500K net worth ($250K investments, $200K house, $50K cash). And so we wouldn't be rich, we might be stable enough, with reduced expenses (no mortgage), to let me chase the FT writer dream.

@RoadRunner, I'm not sure that I'm cut out for technical writing. I mean, I write plenty in my law job, and I sorta enjoy writing briefs, etc., but I don't think I'd enjoy writing engineering stuff. And really I want to pursue purely creative/fiction work, meaning that I write stories that pop into my head. That's where I get the rush, writing what I want when I want how I want (while still considering market forces, etc., obviously).

@FreelanceToFreedom, Much like with above, I'm not sure how much I would enjoy writing on spec. Who knows, maybe I'd enjoy it? I'd like writing about law issues, and travel, and personal finance, things that interest me. Maybe it's something to look into down the road. For now, I feel like I have too much to do just juggling full time law and part time writing. 60 hours per week is all I can work and still enjoy my life. Now would I eventually like to shift to PT law work?? Absolutely! That's sorta my plan; to flip flop my time from 2/3 law, 1/3 writing, to 1/3 law, 2/3 writing. But I need to save up a lot more money before doing that (see above).