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The day job

February 16, 2018

Very few writers are capable of earning enough income to be a full-time writer. The overwhelming majority of us have to have a day job to keep the money coming in. Some are just part time, some are full time, but all of us have to commit to doing something other than our writing.


Sometimes, you have a job that just pays the bills, isn't something you're super excited about but frees you up to have your mind on the writing a lot. I had one such job, working in a supermarket. But then I hurt my back and I had to leave it. Bum.


I was lucky enough to have a couple of years writing full time thanks to my husband. But then he had a stroke and I had to become the main wage earner and go back to work. Interestingly, I was already thinking of getting a job anyway - turns out writing full time doesn't really sit well with me. My dream is to work a couple of days at a job that keeps me in the world, meeting people, learning and experiencing new things, and the rest of the week writing.


At the moment, however, I have a full time job. Luckily, it is a job that I love, as a professional conference organiser. It's incredibly stressful, and at times the hours are ridiculously long and ridiculously physical and you are absolutely zonked and during those periods, I get no writing done. But it's also very interesting, never boring, and you are meeting interesting people and learning interesting things all the time.


The people I work with are also awesome. My company, Conlog, is nearly all female and it's a great environment for empowering women. The companies we often work with are also full of great people and sometimes we socialise with them and then you end up in situations where you are coaxing an audio visual tech onto the floor of a Chinese restaurant in Sydney's Chinatown to pretend he is dead. Cause that's what you do.


You come home entirely exhausted, and it's hard on your family because they've missed you and want to talk to you and catch up and all you want to do is fall into bed. But being onsite, and seeing hundreds of people connecting, knowing that you are helping them develop skills, concepts, their careers and have fun while they are doing it - that is an amazing feeling.


Even if it does leave you looking like this:




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