Why Don’t You Get a Real Job?!

March 31, 2011

For most of my writing career…okay…throughout my writing career, there have been a few people who have continually told me that I needed to “Get a real job!” It didn’t matter that when my boys were small I actually made more money freelance writing than I would have at any of the real jobs I was qualified to do. In fact, I probably saved more money by staying home and writing than I would have made at one of those real jobs. I rarely paid for childcare or transportation costs. I didn’t need a fancy wardrobe (a couple of nice outfits for interviews were plenty), and we saved a fortune on food because I was home and cooked economical meals. For us, it was an ideal set up.

And yet, there were some people who thought I should go get a real job…or at least go back to school and get a degree so that when my kids were all in school, I could get a good job. These are people who love me and want the best for me, but I have to admit the pressure hasn’t always been good for my confidence. Some of them see my writing as a “nice little hobby.” Others…well, I’m not sure what they think.

 Now that our boys are all in college it seems that there is even more pressure.

 “Go back to school before it’s too late!”

“What will you do if something happens and Paul can’t work?”

“Get a job! Help save for retirement!”

And if they think I don’t hear what they’re saying, they are so very wrong!

Although my husband makes a good living, there are times when I feel guilty that I’m home pursuing my writing. Should I go to school? Should I look for a job?

And then my husband, Paul, will come home from work and ask to read what I’ve written. “Wow this is great!” he’ll say or “This is amazing you’re such an incredible writer!” Now, I know he’s my husband and probably more than a little biased, but his belief in me is all I really need.

Then there are our three sons, all gifted artists in a variety of mediums. I tried to teach them to believe in themselves and pursue their dreams, never waste their gifts. I don’t want them to settle for jobs that just “pay the bills.” I want them to follow their passions, do the things that they’ve truly want to do and never wonder…what if? So what am I saying if I walk away from the opportunity to finally follow my real dreams? Did I mean what I said to them? Do I really believe you can make your dreams come true?

The cool thing is my guys are my biggest supporters. My kids don’t seem to think it’s too late for me to pursue my dreams. In fact, occasionally they even read what I write. And Paul…well, every time I mention going back to school or getting a real job he looks at me and says, “Just write!”

So what about you?  Who thinks your writing is a nice little hobby? Who tells you to “get a real job”? And who tells you to “just write”?

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One Response to “Why Don’t You Get a Real Job?!”


  1. Love this post, Tari. I’m the same way with my kids. They keep me writing more than they know, because I want to be the example for them.

    E

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