I am a writer and this is a proper job!

girl-1064658_1920I have read a number of articles & blog posts about writing not being considered to be an actual job. Last week during dinner with a friend, she made the comment that I was semi-retired (not fully retired as I do some paid work at a University). I was a little taken-aback but let it slide. After all I wanted to check the definition of “retirement” to ensure that I wouldn’t be speaking out of turn if I objected to the label. My assumption about the meaning of “retirement” was confirmed, with all definitions implying that it means “leaving the work force”. I was left feeling more than a little annoyed.

I have not left the work force! As a writer I expect that I never will (assuming that my capacity to write remains). My part time/casual work is to get some extra money in the door, and is not the only work I do. I object to the assumption that I’m doing nothing and am available whenever anyone wants a chat, someone to visit, someone to go out with. I’m very busy!

Here are my reasons for believing, no, make that knowing, that writing is a full time job, and is my career:

  1. I work everyday. And I mean every day – even if it’s only for an hour or two.
  2. My standard work day is about 6 hours long. When you consider that those working in office jobs spend a significant amount of time lunching, having tea/coffee breaks, chatting with colleagues, attending boring non-relevant meetings, I think that makes us even.
  3. I get paid. And I get paid regularly. It may not be much, but I get a cheque every three months from the distributer of my children’s book, a monthly payment from the bookstore where my book is stocked, and a payment from Amazon/Kindle at the end of every month.
  4. I’m published. You can google me/my titles.
  5. I’m considered to be an author/emerging writer (by industry definition).
  6. I participate in professional development courses related to my business.
  7. I belong to a writer’s group and various formal writing and publishing organisations and groups.
  8. I am listed as a writer/author/publisher on my tax return, legal documents and census details.
  9. I have a business plan (really I do), business card, business email, business website, an accounts system, an Australian Business registration number, and an EIN (US tax number).

I am in business. Writing is my job, my career and my passion.

So there!

I know that I sound like a bit of a stroppy cow, and in reality those who believe that I do nothing all day is limited to that particular friend, some distant acquaintences and my mother. I really believe that it’s important that we value work in any and all of the arts industries. Being a writer is more than a job, it’s a career and a way of life.

Perhaps some people are jealous that I (we) have taken the risk and are trying to make a living doing something we love.

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Melbourne Cup

Tomorrow is Melbourne Cup Day.  This is a wonderful time if you like horses (provided none get injured during the race and require putting down) or fashion.  It is also a public holiday here and most people take the opportunity to have an extra long weekend (taking both the previous Friday and Monday off as well).

Sadly Cup Day also brings out hoards of Bogans, who don ill-fitting suits or too tight/short/small dresses and ridiculous shoes in celebration of the day,  These folk generally get horribly drunk, fight, vomit in public and ruin the day for most.

Another joy of the Cup is the plethora of advertisements for “on line” gambling organisations, each out to make themselves look like a “dead cert”, “sure bet” establishment, which will dramatically increase your social standing, success with the opposite sex, and increase you bank balance.  I very much worry about the lack of balance in gaming advertising – It is very easy to imagine the distress that the actual financial losses will cause the easily fooled.

Gamble responsibly and have a super day!

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