Keeping the balance… and keeping your day job

Many years ago, I went to a talk by one of my favorite young adult authors, Tamora Pierce. (I was in fact a very young adult at the time, so this was truly an amazing event! Now I am a somewhat older adult, but Tamora is still amazing.) Anyway, after the talk she gave time for questions and I – being a very timid teenager – was so shy I almost didn’t raise my hand. But I grabbed my courage, lifted my arm, and she called on me.

My question: “What advice would you give for a young author?” (Cliche, I know, but I WAS one, and I really wanted the answer! I don’t know what I expected, but in the end she said exactly the right thing.)

Her answer: “Keep your day job.”

Good advice.

I didn’t quit my day job. In fact, I have had many wonderful day-jobs, some incredible satisfying, others just to fill the bank account. In any case, I have devoted the bulk of my time, energy, and study into being the best I can be at my day job. (Other people simply call it “my job”! My coworkers don’t know that I’m an erotica author, naturally.) Anyway, I love my day job, and I’m good at it, and it’s my career and I intend to get better and better.

With the rest of my time, I write.

My writing is good – that’s why I publish it and sell it for money, because my work is easily worth that dollar. But as a self-published author especially, one has to keep things in perspective. And the reality is that, although I love writing, constantly work to improve my craft, edit, read, publish, and sell, for most of us there is simply not a full-time, tax-paying career in erotica. We write it for the love of it, and for the craft of it; we improve because it matters to us. But as Tamora said to me all those years ago, keep your day job.

So if you don’t see a lot of new posts from me lately, now you know why. I’m devoted to doing my very best job at work, just the same as I am devoted to writing the very best erotic stories I can. In the end, that’s what it’s all about: doing your best, being your best, and keeping the balance between all the passions in your life.