The Day Job

boatIn late 2011, Abraham Verghese, author of “Cutting for Stone” described his writing life for the Washington Post.

For dedicated writers and those in the publishing business who freelance “part time,” simply because no one will pay us to write full time, there is the need for the dreaded…. “Day Job.”

This quote may help you lose some of the resentment of the day job, as you read how it benefits Verghese’s writing.

“Indeed, when I am asked for writing advice, which is rare, I offer this: Get a good day job, one that you love, preferably one that consumes you and that puts your boat out in the river of life. Then be passionate about it, give it your all, get good at what you do.”

Even though his work and family life left insufficient time to devote to writing, he persisted writing in the time he had available. Perhaps it is his lack of resentment over work as the thief of his writing hours that let him settle down and make the most of his limited time to write.

“Joyce Carol Oates produced two books while I was working on a long chapter. But I am not in a hurry to get the book out, just to get it right — my day job allows that luxury.”

Full Verghese essay here.

BIO: Helen Gallagher joined to share her thoughts on small business and technology. Her blogs and books are accessible through She is a member of ASJA, Small Publishers Artists & Writers Network, and several great Chicago-area writing groups.