I own a 2800 square foot home. I live in Arkansas and that means it’s hot and we run the air-conditioning 6 months out of the year. I have two children who go to private Montessori school. I have two cars, a Honda and a Toyota -- luckily, I’ve paid them both off, but still there’s gas and insurance and I don’t know if you’ve seen gas prices lately but WOW. My wife works very hard at being a mom and keeping our house, but she doesn’t have a day job (thanks, honey, for all you do). ...Read the whole thing. When the term "artistic freedom" turns up in descriptions of the writing life, my mind immediately jumps to hipster types scribbling stream-of-consciousness narratives in the second person that will appeal to approximately 43 people. But Jacobs takes an entirely different tack on the topic. Unless you happen to become a Big Name, writing for a living quickly becomes a treadmill existence, popping out pulp piece after pulp piece in a rapid succession. Want freedom from that grind? Punching the clock provides it.
And yeah, I’ve got appetites. We’re a nuclear family with all that implies. ...
For me to become a full time writer is like saying, “Hey! I plan on being a lottery winner when I grow up!” It’s a nice pipe-dream but it isn’t for me.
You might ask why. Let me tell you.
I like being able to write books on my schedule, the way I want to write them. I LOVE the artistic freedom of having a day job. It’s liberating. You don’t have to churn out 5000 words a day to make your contractual obligations, you don’t have to put out two novels a year. A day job frees you from compromising your artistic vision in order to put out a product.
(Picture: CC 2011 by Steve Snodgrass; Hat Tip: @StaciaDecker)