Happy Monday, everyone!
I'm asking for your advice today. As you may or may not know, I've been in the throes of job hunting over the last few months as my current job comes to a close (I have an official ending date of June 30, 2011). I work in science, and I considered the possibility of running my own lab as a college professor. In the end, when application season arrived, I only had the nerve to apply to three schools. I got down to the final four candidates with one of those schools, but in the end, I didn't get the job offer. I'm more or less okay with that--though I was depressed for a few days. I figure, if I had really wanted that job I would have applied to 50 schools instead of 3. Now, I'm satisfied with that effort and am open to the possibilities of a more dramatic job switch.
Which brings me to the question at hand. Is all writing the same?
Over the last decade plus, I've been dividing my energy between scientific research and fiction writing. Needless to say, this is often tiring. Both jobs take up as much time as one is willing to give them. I've always wondered what would happen if I focused on one job with 100% of my effort. That could be science, with no fiction writing. Or, that could be fiction writing with no science. (It could also be perfecting the perfect caramel corn recipe, but let's leave that aside for now.)
I'm not the type to just go for broke with fiction writing, though. That feels far too risky for me. I've got three kids to feed. I've got alimony. Okay, I don't, but I still want food and a place to live. I'm not ready to dedicate all of my time to fiction since the payoff will probably be zero dollars and zeroty-zero cents. So, I asked myself if maybe there were other writing-related paths I could take. Things like technical writing, or science journalism, or grant writing. I wonder if these fields are related enough, to fiction writing that I would get some relief. If I were to pursue technical writing, would that really allow me to focus my attention more? Or, is technical writing (or science journalism or grant writing etc.) so different from fiction writing that I would get anymore relief than I have now?
Does anyone have any thoughts on this? And, I know I'm not the only one who deals with this issue. Probably all or at least most of you have jobs and/or kids that suck up take as much time as my current job does. Have you thought of aligning your efforts more? Do you have any good ideas on how to do this? Perhaps--and I'm only thinking out loud--you could raise your child to become a literary agent.