Saturday, 21 September 2013

Is it a Job or is it a Career? Megan Rix / Ruth Symes

Have you seen comedian Chris Rock's stand-up routine on You Tube about whether you have a job or a career? The link is here:  or you can put Chris Rock job or career into Google and it comes up straight away.

I hadn't seen it before until my husband told me about it one evening when he arrived home feeling down about his job. It's very funny (but be warned Chris Rock does love swearing!)

Basically what he says is if you have a career there's never enough time in the day to get all the work that you want to do done. I'm always wanting more hours to write in (especially at the moment - time for another weekend away at a hotel to just write I think!). But if you have a job rather than a career you spend the day looking at the clock/watch and counting down the hours until it's time to go home. In a career you want more time to work and in a job you want less.

It certain rang true with me and a lot of people I know. But not always in as clear-cut way as Chris Rock put it. When I was working I loved my job and knew it was worthwhile - the only problem was that I longed desperately to write and when I wrote I felt like I was complete and when I did anything else I was just killing time or worse wasting it when I could have been writing.

Then I had the BIG talk with myself about what you really want to do with your life, supposing you only had one year left how would you spend it, what would you be truly disappointed never to have done...

I knew that it was wise to stay working until I could support myself and so I went down to part-time and then temporary work. Only the less hours I spent at work the more hours I could write and the more hours I got to write the more I wanted to do more. :)

Now happily I write full-time under the names of Ruth Symes and Megan Rix although I don't think I write as many words a day as I did when I was still working full-time and the words would come bursting out because I'd held them in for so long. I always wish I could write more... no picture books for ages ... and I used to write for TV...

What's it like for you?

Ruth's latest book is published by Piccadilly
Megan Rix' latest book is published by Puffin

1 comment:

Sue Bursztynski said...

Job or career? I don't know. I just love writing and I will try nearly anything. The only thing I have refused was teacher's notes for other people's books. Even if I knew how to do them, I would want to do the book, not the notes. But over the years I have written non fiction and some fiction to order and loved it. Books, articles, even literacy cards, I've done them all. Call it a vocation.

What I can't do is write full time, because the bills have to be paid and unlike you, I don't have a husband's second wages as a fallback if things don't work out immediately and when I retire, I want to make sure my superannuation will continue to pay the bills. Going part time will reduce it, due to our system, otherwise I would have gone part time years ago.

What I do, though, is refuse to make my day job a career. It will always be a job only, to support my writing habit.