Tuesday, June 26, 2012

In Praise of the Day Job

I've wasted a lot of precious time being black and white Joe

As I trudged into work daily I was envious of my fellow writers
 who stay home and write full time.

In fact, I used to spend hours scribbling away and planning my escape, as though the "day job" held me hostage and my freedom could only be secured through careful planning- digging a tunnel with a teaspoon, carving away little by little, toward that  glorious freedom to become the writer I was meant to be.

Until the day I woke up to the sound of a REALITY CHECK

I realized a few amazing things about my life and the "day job":

1. The "day job" doesn't define me. I am not a day jobber who writes on the side. I am a writer with a "day job".

2. Vince Mooney is right. "  If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do. -Lucille Ball"

3. Stop whining. "The time I spent whining about what I can't do, could have been spent accomplishing what I can do." -Tina Radcliffe

4. Appreciate that you even have a "day job." The U.S Unemployment rate is 8.2 percent as of May 2012.

5. Oh, how I love those benefits!  I have health insurance, dental insurance, a 401K, an hour lunch break, and I get to wear pajamas to work (scrubs). Then there's those vacation days, sick days, floating holidays that are PAID!

6.  It's hard to be creative when the bills are due. The day job ensures the electricity bill is paid. 

7.   I like chicken. I'm no longer willing to live on peanut butter and jelly. The life of a starving writer no longer appeals to me. So, yes, I like chicken.  Not steak mind you. But chicken. 

 What about you? Should you, could you, quit your "day job?" 

There are no definitive figures on the number of writers who make a living with their writing alone, but a search of the internet indicates a very unscientific report of less than ten percent.
Some helpful articles on the topic:

When Should You Quit Your Day Job (Harvard Business Review)

Keep in mind that this post isn't about ignoring the possibility that you can quit "day job." It's about being okay, in fact, being more than okay with the decision not to quit the "day job."

The moment that I woke up and embraced MY reality was the moment  I began to appreciate how very fortunate I was. My entire attitude changed.

 "My father says that almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know. Everybody you see. Everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant total amazement."-Patricia, Joe Versus the Volcano

I've explored my options thoroughly and now when I walk into the "day job" it's with appreciation. I give the "day job" eight hours and at the end of the day I'm ready to dance home and step into my writing life.

I invite you to Come Go With Me! (apparently some of you wanted to dance a little longer in your desk chair. Or even on your desk top..for you I present the full length version of the Del-Vikings Song.)

P.S. If you aren't dancing yet, I'd like to suggest a little book that can help.

12 Simple Secrets of Happiness at Work by Glenn Van Ekeren

"Your (day) job (no matter how great or how lousy it is ) can be more than a way to earn a living. Make it an important element in creating a quality life. You don't need to jump into a volcano to light yourself on fire. Reenergizing your work spirit is an inside job."

Comment today for a chance to win a copy of A Family To Cherish by Ruth Logan Herne. Winner announced in the Weekend Edition. (If you already have this book we'll find a suitable Seeker book for you if your name is picked.) 

Additionally, if you are a lurker and have never posted before and you post before Wednesday your name will be in the hat for a Seeker release of your choice as available on Amazon. That means a new book, not one that is out of print. Just let us know you are a first time poster. (or maybe a Kindle one-come out of lurkdom and we'll negotiate.)


Helen Gray said...

Uh, definitely not a first time poster.

Got the coffee pot set for a.m.

I loved this, even if I no longer have a day job. I did for many years, though. So I revel in my freedom now.


Tina Radcliffe said...

Yeah, but I still like you, Helen.

Melissa Jagears said...

My day job is an 18 month old and a 5 year old.

Awhile ago, I'd thought "I can't imagine writing with a day job" and then realized I did!

And Tina, I was just on Amazon scrolling through this one lady's reviews, she's a tough lady to make happy! But you made her happy, you actually garnered 5 stars from her when she said she wasn't going to give them out easily anymore! So your book went on my wishlist. I think it would be apropos to use the gift card you sent me to buy it, don't you think?

Tina Radcliffe said...

You have a totally full time job. And you embrace it, Melissa.

You haven't ready Oklahoma Reunion.

DUDE!!!!!!! :)

Tina Radcliffe said...

Or maybe it's The Rancher's Reunion.

Hope you have a Kindle. They aren't easy to find in print.

But good news!@! I turned in book 3 two weeks ago and got the a-okay on it from my editor. Yippee.

KC Frantzen and May the K9 Spy said...

Way to go Tina!
Edit edit edit Helen!
Melissa - you have THE most important one there is. Thanks for doing it with grace and mercy!
Off to slumber I hope. The fans are just a goin'. (Posted on yesterday's just a few minutes ago... Our A/C went out late this afternoon. Ack! They're coming tomorrow. An excellent point about having a day job, yes?)
Somebody post the Mary link again, that Ruthy mentioned. Or, was there yet another mystery?

Melissa Jagears said...

Actually Rancher's Reunion she liked better and that's the first one, right? So I put that one on the wishlist so when I get to ordering at Amazon I'll remember.

And DUDE I have so many books in the TBR pile it is ridiculous. Where do I get the time? kids, homeschooling, financial paperwork and music for the church, cleaning house (oh wait, I don't do that one **hunches over embarrassed**) and writing. I get to read during bathtime and swinging the toddler and a chapter before I fall asleep at son's nap time if I'm lucky.

I might have used some of my writing time for reading, but my crit partner decided today to refuse to give me back my crits unless I give her the next chapter because she says I'm not giving them to her fast enough to make her happy.

She's cruel and brilliant at the same time. Need to get my tush over to 1k1h to get this next chapter done to get my last chapter out of hostage. ("out of hostage" that sounds weird, did I use that phrase right???)

Christy Olesen said...

Hi Tina, this post sure hits home. I've been struggling with quitting my day job and I'm not even published, yet. Nor am I old enough to retire. I was feeling like I was wasting my time there ten hours a day, four days a week. Then I thought, I only have to work four days a week, that's a gift. And the benefits? I could never afford that on my own. So I've come to be thankful for my day job, tho I still tend to think of how much more I could accomplish if I was independently wealthy. But don't we all?

Jamie Adams said...

My first half of the day job is teaching the kids and the second half is helping out at the family business.

I enjoyed both of Tina's books but liked Oklahoma Reunion best, can't wait for the next as they keep getting better and better. I love books that make me laugh and cry at the same time.

Tina Radcliffe said...

So you totally relate, Christy! We have to make peace with it and yes, count our blessings!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Awe, thanks, Jamie.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Faster! Faster! Melissa!!!

Amber S. said...

I LOVE Joe vs. the Volcano!!! Such a funny, wonderful movie. :)

And that quote for #2 is so true! During the school year I got so much done... Now that I've graduated and I'm enjoying the summertime, I just can't believe how fast the day goes! (Probably doesn't help that I sleep half of it away, LOL!) I mean, how did I go to classes and get all that homework done and still find time to read and hang out with friends??


Amber S. said...

P.S. I guess for me, I actually have to FIND a day job, eventually... ;)

Carol Garvin said...

The more I read, the guiltier I felt. I don't have a "day job" anymore and can write whenever and however much I want.

There! I've said it. I'm also ducking for fear someone is getting ready to throw something at me. Did you have to choose this particular subject right now, Tina?

But I USED to have a day job. I owned my own business and sometimes worked all through the day AND night. That has to count for something, right? I'm entitled to enjoy my 'retirement' now, right? C'mon, somebody tell me not to feel guilty. I'll bet Helen understands. Helen???

Ausjenny said...

Firstly my book arrived yesterday. (Gotta love the Book depository).

I dont have a day job (well I have some small jobs) but not a day job. I also dont like to eat chicken (unless its chicken nuggets) After getting food poisoning it put me off for along time (infact haven't had it for over a year).

As much as I enjoy having free time I would love to have more work the money side would sure help, I would love to find 20 more hours a week but at this point anything would help.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Retirement means you already paid your dues, Carol. No need to duck, lol.

Janet Dean said...

Tina, thanks for the wonderful post! Attitude makes the difference with everything in our lives and yours makes me smile. Proud to know you.

Congratulations on your editor's thumbs up! YAY! Can't wait!!


Janet Dean said...

Jenny, you've got my prayers for that job. Hang in.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Well, of course I love this post because I'm a full time worker...

More than that, I've worked a side job for the past twenty years. First waitressing, then bridal sales, then in a bakery... on top of the day job, while trying to get published. So working long and hard is part of me...

And it makes me real in so many ways. And I LOVE THAT, because readers recognize it. They flock to it. How stinkin' cool is that????

To me, bringing my long-career of Pet Detective name-tag and hairnet jobs into my writing helps me connect. And the fact that my teeth are too big for my mouth is a plus because I can't stop smiling!!! WIN/WIN!!!!


Tina, thank you for this. I know so many folks out of work... struggling... grabbing whatever job they can, so that 8.2 % is probably not even close to the reality of life for lots of folks right now.

A huge plus about working outside the home? I almost never waste time. Because it's not there to waste.

HEY!!! Here's the link to where editor Mike Ehret is critiquing (and by critiquing I mean TEARING APART!!!!) Mary Connealy's work!!! :) Mary volunteered for this, but pop over there at some point and MAKE FUN OF HER.

Or Mike.

Although we love Mike!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Tina, yay!!!! We love those OKAYS from the editors, LOL!

Grinning and offering a coffee salute from upstate!

Sally said...

Thank you so much, Tina, for this post and putting the day job into perspective! I have started freelance editing and it is a huge struggle working full-time, taking care of the kids, taking care of the house (thank goodness my husband helps!), and everything else that needs doing, and getting it done so I can sit at the computer and edit. I love editing! Maybe one day I will be able to quit the full-time job and edit all day. That would be a dream come true!

Mary Curry said...

Okay I just wasted too much time looking for a quote on FB but I couldn't find it. It was something like the more time we have, the more time we waste.

So while I was off searching, Ruthy went and posted the same wisdom.

"A huge plus about working outside the home? I almost never waste time. Because it's not there to waste."

So true.

I wish I could say the same. But we all need goals.

Tina, I used to spend a lot of time plotting ways to quit my day job - because I had a day job that was suffocating me. Now I have a day job that I love so I can't even imagine quitting it. Of course it helps that's have summers off.

One thingi I often wonder - if writing was my full time job, would the pressure of having to succeed financially inspire me or stifle my creativity? Who knows.

Anonymous said...

Aww. Wish I was a first time poster!
Anyways, interesting post, Tina, Thanks.

Hopefully the writing is coming along smoothly for you and everyone else.


Jackie said...

Hi Tina,

There are a lot of days I dread going to my day job and give myself a lecture on the drive to work.
I work retail and there is never a dull moment.
A conversation with a customer even triggered a story idea for me.
At this point in my life, I do thank God for my day job.
I just have to remind myself from time to time that I really am thankful for my job.
Thanks for the reminder! Have a great week.
Jackie L.

Jackie said...

Hey Melissa,

Raising those children is the most important day job any of us have.

My youngest is in college now and trust me, you'll miss these days. Enjoy every minute!

My son is home for summer vacation and I'm taking advantage of the time we have together. It's a joy to see how much he's grown while away.

Jackie L.

Rose said...

Ahhh...a blog post after my own heart! All the reasons you listed and a few more are the why I named my blog..Don't Quit The Day Job.

The idea of being a starving writer doesn't appeal to me. After all when I'm hungry the ONLY thing I do well is being crabby.

Here's another reason to embrace your day job, you need to be able to pay your electric bill in this day and age to be writer.

I've been asked (and told once!) when I was going to quit my day job to write full time, and I must admit in 1993 when I started writing that was my goal, but not anymore.

I work at a University with excellent benefits (translates to pension when I retire)unless they fire me, I will not be quitting my day job. So...I treat my writing career like a part time job.

And it's working for me!

Glynna Kaye said...

TINA -- When I sold my first book you wouldn't believe how many people at the day job said "I guess now you'll be quitting to write full-time."

UH...ARE YOU CRAZY? Although, I suppose I could quit--if I wasn't inclined to eating and having clothes on my back. If I didn't want a roof over my head, gasoline in the car, medical insurance and something set aside for the day when I can physically no longer hold down a day job.

Yes, it's TOUGH and quite often discouraginng to work a more-than-full-time day job and write, too. Quitting isn't an option. Getting up at 4 & 4:30 to write before work isn't a fun way to start the day. Sometimes the desired two books a year don't materialize because the day job takes up more than it's fair share of the hours available in a day and drains mental and physical energy.

But like you, I'm SO THANKFUL to have a job at all, especially a good one that pays the bills (and for some frills!) and is in a safe environment.

The beauty of a day job is I don't worry that bills will go unpaid or that in a serious illness I could lose everything if I didn't have good medical insurance. Peace of mind in those realms are MAJOR benefits to a day job.

Chris Loehmer Kincaid said...

Thanks for a great post. I dream of the day when I can retire from the day job and write full time. It is still nine and a half years away, but I am still counting. If the day job wasn't such a drain, emotionally, physically and mentally, I wouldn't mind it so much. But many days I come home so shot that all I want to do is crawl in bed. Instead, I crawl to the computer and pound out what I can.
Thanks for the inspiration to keep going.

Julie Hilton Steele said...

Tina, I miss having a day job. I wrote as part of my job and wrote some more when I got home. I worked in jobs that didn't pay a lot so I never worked for chicken, more like canned tuna.

I REALLY miss the schedule of the day job. But I am treating writing as my job now.

A lot of writers on 1K1HR write in the middle of the night and on weekends when I take off. Sniff. I want to party with Melissa and Virginia in the middle of the night! At least I have Jan to keep me company!

Oh, and props to Mary! I didn't give you a hard time, Mary. Just wondering if you shot the critic!

I loved Family to Cherish. No need to put me in the drawing.

Peace and thanks for a thought provoking post, Julie

Kav said...

Love your looking at the glass half full perspective.

I had to switch jobs this year which left me with a horrid commute (2- 21/2 hours home every night!)and has left me pretty creatively deplete a lot of the time BUT I'm cheering you on because I love my benefits and insurance and the fact that my landlord likes me because I've never missed a rent payment!

PLUS, I get two months off starting next week -- that's a nifty boon for a writer, isn't it? It will be interesting to see if I can apply the same workday ethics to my writing. Will I be able to get up early, walk the dog and then hit the computer and make writing my full time job for the summer? Sure hope so.

Mary Connealy said...

I think the day job gives my life structure.
I am an insomniac. Though I've never had the chance to find out, what with four children to raise and later in that life, a full time job, I think I'd start sleeping in and staying up later and later.
That sounds like something I'd do.
So the day job forces me to get up in the morning, even if I've had a sleepless night.

Now that the kids are grown, I'd be sleeping until noon and staying up until four am without the day job...that's almost VAMPIRE scheduling. Good grief.

Pam Hillman said...

Come out of lurkdom and we'll negotiate. ha ha! The visuals I get with that. Seriously, lurkers, it's not as ominous as it sounds....

I've been blessed to work for the same company for 28 years as of next next week. I've worn many hats there (some at the same time!).

A couple of months ago, I was VERY blessed to have been given the opportunity to work 3 days a week, something I've been working toward for ten years or more. On those three days, though, I have to hit the ground running.

To put it in a nutshell: I'm LOVING it!

Jan Drexler said...

Okay. I'm officially in awe.

When we started homeschooling, so many people told me they could never do what I did.

I look at people who work full time outside the home and think the same thing. After giving 100% to an employer for eight hours a day, I'd be done. I can't imagine having any creative energy either before or after that! And then on top of that, there are meals, laundry, cleaning..... I just can't imagine.

So I work at home full time. I don't miss having an income and benefits because I've never really had them (thanks to a wonderful husband who enjoys the benefits of a stay at home wife...most of the time - when I don't have a deadline!).

So my hat is off to you full time workers/part time writers!

And Melissa, don't duck. Your full time job is the most important of all - and best of all is that you never have to retire from it.

YAY TINA!!!! Another book coming out!!!

And please enter me in the drawing, even though I have a copy of Ruthy's book already. I have a list of people waiting to be introduced to Seeker authors :)

Pam Hillman said...

Yay, Tina, on turning in the latest ms AND getting a thumbs up from your editor!!!

Julie Lessman said...

TEENSTER!!! WHOO-HOO on turning in book 3 -- can't wait!!!

And I'm with Glynna -- I can't count how many people asked if I was quitting my job, but that question is ALWAYS good for a chuckle!!

My agent told me not to quit my day job, not because she didn't think I'd do well, but that it takes a while to do well unless you are a phenom breakout writer like J.K. or Steph. :)

But I quit my day job anyway because it was part-time and I hoped (and prayed) I could make enough to cover my old salary. Some years yes, some years no, but I love being a kept woman, truly!! ;)


Julie Lessman said...

TEENSTER!!! WHOO-HOO on turning in book 3 -- can't wait!!!

And I'm with Glynna -- I can't count how many people asked if I was quitting my job, but that question is ALWAYS good for a chuckle!!

My agent told me not to quit my day job, not because she didn't think I'd do well, but that it takes a while to do well unless you are a phenom breakout writer like J.K. or Steph. :)

But I quit my day job anyway because it was part-time and I hoped (and prayed) I could make enough to cover my old salary. Some years yes, some years no, but I love being a kept woman, truly!! ;)


Pam Hillman said...

Carol!!! Grinning from ear to ear that you don't have to go to the day job any more.

No guilt trip allowed!

You've EARNED the right to enjoy life a bit!!

Amy R.S. said...

Hi. I am not a writer, but I enjoy reading this site. I am a lurker. I don't think I have posted anything before. Thanks.

arsmelser6 at gmail dot com

Audra Harders said...

I definitely have a love-hate relationship with my job. I love what I do -- I get to play 4-H all day. I hate the drama that tends to follow overachieving parents wherever they go.

I love harmony, peaceful co-existence, playing nice in the sandbox. I love the kids in the program, they're the greatest.

It's the parents who think rules don't apply to them that wear out my psyche!! Oy vay.

But, as mentioned, I do like food on the table, heat in the winter, and benefits. So what can I say?

I am grateful.

Audra Harders said...

Melissa, enjoy your job as Mommy! It's the hardest, yet most rewarding career in the world!!!

Audra Harders said...

Jan D, homeschooling is a calling. Not everyone can do it, or they think they can and find out it's not for the faint of heart.

You go girl.

Audra Harders said...

YAYAYAYAYAY, Tina! Book 3 is a go. When the release date??

Pam Hillman said...

Chris, been there, done that, EXACTLY like you described...and I expect to do it again soon. Not looking forward to going back to 5 days a week, but it is inevitable....We do 80% of our business in September-November.

But then, hopefully, I can look forward to going BACK to 3 days a week when the rush is over!

Sure, I whine, but I'm thankful for the day job I have, and the benefits it's provided all these years.

Pam Hillman said...

Kav, a 2 1/2 hour commute? Un-freakin-believable!!! And I thought my 1/2 hour one way was bad!

If you're driving, could you use a voice activated recorder to "write" while you drive?

I've thought of this, but 1/2 hour is just enough to get my brain STARTED. Instead, I listen to workshops on the iPod.

Pam Hillman said...

Mary said: I'd be sleeping until noon and staying up until four am without the day job.

Raising hand. Me too.

Jessica Nelson said...

Excellent post!! My day job is staying home with the kiddos. I had a bank job a few months ago and it was only two days a week, but boy did I love that adult interaction, the challenge of meeting adult needs, the lunch break, no screaming, illogical kids, the 401k...I miss it badly. I'm sure it's challenging to have to work 40hrs+ but there are benefits and kudos to you for focusing on those. :-) You rock, girlie!!

DebH said...

i adore this post. i am so thankful to have a day job - and what happens during the day can be a good idea trigger for stories as well.

for the retired ladies: feel no shame - you earned your freedom from from the day job. no ducking allowed.

for Melissa: i would love have your day job, but my income is greater than hubby's - so i can't. i'm thrilled for you. Godspeed on rescuing your hostaged writing

God has blessed me with a great day job and my hubby with a good night shift job. perhaps someday i'll actually get some writing done. in the meantime, i'll continue getting inspired by the ladies/commenters of Seekerville.

Jeanne T said...

I'm with Melissa Jagears, my full time job consists of a 9 year old and an almost 8 year old. They consume my days, especially in summer. I can't imagine trying to write on top of a job outside the home.

I admire you, Tina, for your honesty and your perspective on work. Way to find the positives in a "day job." :)

And I need to find a copy of Rancher's Reunion and read it. Loved Oklahoma Reunion. You turned in book three? Woo-hoo! Looking forward to that one too. :)

Ellen said...

As pre-published put the finances in order, then "retired" from the day job. Yep, an oldie still learning the craft.
Days I accomplish the most -- when I follow a schedule and treat writing as a "day job".

Clari Dees said...

I like my day job, although the one hour drive each way has gotten old after 8 years. I dislike it even more when the weather is bad. :-(
But enough complaining. I get three days off a week, and the one evening that I work usually gets very quiet and slow. So when I have my desk clear of projects, I can use the time to research. =)
Another plus...when I'm looking through the microfilmed newspapers for an obituary, marriage or birth, I have access to all sorts of fun stories, historical news/tidbits to copy off and put in my story file.

Thank you, Tina, for reminding me to be thankful for my job. Resentment is not conducive to creativity, is it?

And now I must get moving. It's my evening to work, and I need to get a couple things accomplished before heading toward my day job.

Melanie Dickerson said...

You are amazing, Tina. Thanks for the reality check. I need to appreciate the fact that my day job is taking care of my three kids--my two daughters and my husband, who desperately, desperately needs a day job!!!

When things are going rotten with my writing, when I'm getting painful rejections (yes, I still get those and could tell you some sad stories you wouldn't believe) it's nice to realize that writing isn't my whole life, you know? Sometimes I actually dream about getting a day job.

But then I wake up from that nightmare and go get a drink of water. Actually, the only thing keeping me from it ... well, two things ... is that I have no skills for anything that pays more than minimum wage and I'd have to go back to school and I'd rather eat dirt; and secondly, it just doesn't seem like what God wants from me right now. But I have a ton of admiration for people who work full time and still make time to write. You particularly, Tina, amaze me.

Myra Johnson said...

Great post, Tina! So affirming!

Jackie said: "A conversation with a customer even triggered a story idea for me."

That is so true--real life is where ideas are most likely to hit you. A thousand years ago when I was writing children's stories, I was also working mornings and afternoons as a school crossing guard at our kids' junior high. Just chatting with the kids at the corner gave me tons of story ideas, several of which were published back in the day.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Well I tried the writing full time at home for six months. I am still digging myself out of that hole.

I blogged for pay and edited. I worked at my desk in my jammies literally from dawn til into the middle the night.

I couldn't do it.

There is a lot to be said for interacting with adults too. LOL.

Showers! Showers are nice.

I guess I just couldn't find balance and the income I required.

Tina Radcliffe said...

AMY R.S. You did it. Came out of lurk.


Big step! Tell us about yourself.

I took Mary Connealy's teeth and her rifle. So no biting or shooting today.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Ellen, retirement is a good thing.


And publishing my first book after the big 50 makes me...SEASONED.

Tina Radcliffe said...

LOL, Melly. Toasting your nightmare with my water glass.

Helen Gray said...

Tina, I'm so proud of you for your attitude, and for getting that third book turned in.

Mary, did you just call me a VAMPIRE???


Carol Moncado said...

Wish I had time to read everything...

Helen, if you are a vampire, I hear ole Abe is out to get you!!!!

I needed this today [big day - more some other time...]

For me, to replace my current 'day job' income, I'd have to earn an AVERAGE for a new author with a contract from a major publisher. That said, I only work 6 hours away from home most weeks, so I can in theory, do both and double my income ;).

More later when I get home...

Tina Radcliffe said...

Helen (note my gentle tone) I think she is referring to the fact that in general you appear at the stroke of midnight and then....after the coffee is brewing.. DISAPPEAR.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Carol Moncado.

No fair.

No fair.

No fair.

Hints please.

Mia Ross said...

What great perspective, Tina! I have to admit sometimes I grumble about my day job because I'd much rather be writing. Thanks for setting me straight :)

Helen Gray said...

So I'm not a vampire.

I'm a ghost.

Tina Radcliffe said...

No. I think vampire is much more descriptive. Have you thought about writing a vampire book? Amish Vampire. Remember. Very hot right now.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Another point I'd like to make is that Mommyhood is the ultimate job.
I did my time with that as well. Working nights so I was home days.

Sleep was optional so there was no time for writing. Those of you who manage to get sleep in and homeschooling and raising a family AND THEN WRITE, are even more amazing to me.

Walt Mussell said...

I have been asked several times if I would leave my day job if books became million sellers.

My response has always been that writers have lousy health insurance.

Love having the day job. Love squeezing in writing when I can.

Tina, congrats on getting the okay on Book 3. Please let everyone know when it's avaialble for pre-order. :-)

Walt Mussell said...

Amish vampire? I'm sure someone's trying that somewhere.

Helen Gray said...

Carol would be better at the Amish book than me. She lives up there near an Amish settlement.

I live down here with the whatevers.

Jennifer Thompson said...

I only have a part time day job, and I would leave it in a heartbeat if I could make up the difference salary wise, but tis not in the cards as of yet.

My full time job is being mommy, which is the most important thing to me. I will live on PB&J sandwiches if I can just hang out with my kiddos and make sure someone is there for them at all times (something I didn't have growing up)

I'm with Carol today...something major is going down today and I can fill you guys in later about it...if you would like.

It's got me seriously nervous! Yikes!

Jan Drexler said...

My book has Amish, gangsters, and Prohibition agent.

No vampires or zombies.

Although my daughter has come up with a genre she calls "Zombish". Amish zombies driving buggies around Northern Indiana at night.

No stories yet.

Mary Connealy said...

HI AMY R S Brave girl. Thanks for posting.

Hey, Lurking Girl, doesn't that almost sound like a famous movie???

Jan Drexler said...

Carol and Jennifer!

I'm with Tina.

No fair.

You can at least give us a hint, can't you?

Mary Connealy said...

HELEN this must be in reference to your dependable late night visits to put the coffee on at Seekerville.

I didn't recognize that as vampire behavior.............UNTIL NOW!!!!

Mary Connealy said...

Jennifer and Carol, I'm all excited now. I love NEWS.

I believe I will spend the rest of the day making stuff up until we learn the truth.

If I do that, and put it in a book, I'm an author.

If I do that and just let it war inside my head, I'm an obsessive compulsive nut. Guess what? I can be BOTH!

Tina Radcliffe said...

ACK!!! I missed Jennifer's secret message. We can't handle secrets.


Tina Radcliffe said...

And as far as the PB & J. They have their place. But speaking as someone...um, potentially three times older than you. Around the fourth decade they do finally, thank you, get old.

Tina Radcliffe said...

No word yet, Walt. Spring. Missy and I might have a showing together. Wouldn't that be fun. Seekers are the only ones I share the limelight. Or coconut light with. And friends of Seekerville.

Myra Johnson said...

"Amish zombies driving buggies around Northern Indiana at night."

Oh, Jan.

Oh my.

When I see this as a new TV series on CW or SyFy, I will know for sure that the world has gone crazy.

Helen Gray said...

I well remember those years of "day job"--plus three rug rats--plus pastor's wife role, plus writing obsession.

Now that the kids are gone and there's no longer a day job, I figure I may as well indulge myself.

Jan, my latest book also has gangsters. What's up with us?

Vince said...

Hi Tina:

Yea! Does an OK on your book III mean there were no edits? WOW!

BTW: Someone once figured out that the average writer makes about one dollar an hour when you consider all the writing time and all the prep time that goes into a novel. Why would I want that to become obvious to me?

Perhaps people should consider a night job. Because of my security clearance, after I got out of the AF, I got a night job in the Space Program checking security badges. It gave am about eight hours a night to study for that morning’s college class. I’ve never been so prepared for anything in my life.

Beware! Don’t think your current writing time experience will be multiplied by eight if you write full time. Do you know how a river will have it’s current speed up as it narrows and slow down as it widens? That is often what happens when you try to write full time. Everything slows down and you can actually get less work done than when you were driven and highly motivated to fit writing time into your schedule. The more you do, the more you can do. Trust me on this. No, actually, trust Lucy. : )

HELP: I’m the only one giving Mary a hard time over at Mike’s today. Don’t hang me out to dry.


P.S. I love the idea of Amish Vampire but I’d like to see it be a Steampunk version. That way the Amish wouldn’t even stand out.

Carol Moncado said...

Two words: Speed Date

Should have news in the next 30 minutes or so...

Digging for Pearls said...

Just had to share my exciting news. I had a speed-pitch this afternoon with LIH and they requested a full manuscript for the book I'm writing. Major happy dance going on here.

Praising God,

Jodie Wolfe

Amber S. said...

Leanna Ellis' Amish Vampire novel - Plain Fear: Forsaken - released last August, and the second one (Forbidden) is releasing this August. :) Leanna is a Christian author, but these books are written for a more secular audience.

If anyone's interested, here's the link to my review of the first book:


So, yes, it HAS been done! ;)


Jennifer Thompson said...

OK...here goes. Today was the pitch speed date with Emily Rodmell from Love Inspired Harlequin.

I was in the second group to go and what she wanted was a blurb 100 words or less.

She gave 4 possible answers: Send full, proposal, synopsis or no thank you.

I...got a full request! I'm am so darn excited! At first I thought she was being stingy with all the proposals and synopsis she was requesting :)

My life has just shifted gears, my friends, and I better get a move on, since it's not finished.

BTW Tina, there is no way your 3 times older than me!!! You'd be dead...or just look really FANTASTIC!

Jennifer Thompson said...

Oh my my, Friends of Seekerville are doing fantastic today!

Congrats Jodie and Carol!!!

Mary Curry said...

Wonderful, Jennifer.

I just got one too!

And you know who else did. ;)

Mary Curry said...

Oh, Jodie, I missed your post up there. Congratulations to you too!!!

See what excellent supporters you are, Seekers!

Jan Drexler said...

Woo hoo!

Jodie, Jennifer, Mary...and ????

Still waiting for final word?

And who else is out there speed dating?

(and do their spouses know?)

Carol Moncado said...

Holy COW!!!!!!

Full request from Emily Rodmell!


Guess I'd best go finish it! :D

Panera here I come! [Not really, but am sure I will be...]

Jennifer Thompson said...

Congrats Mary!

Seekers should be proud!

Kav said...

Wow -- this speeding pitching is fantastic. I think I've just counted four Seekervillians who have full requests! All hale Seekerville!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Very interesting post/comments! I've been retired several years, but did love working!!
Ruthy's book is on the way to me already so if I win in this drawing, I'd like a copy of your book, The Rancher's Reunion, Tina
(I read OR). Thanks!
Jackie S.

Jan Drexler said...

Yay Carol!!!!

Jan Drexler said...

I have a feeling Emily Rodmell is going to be VERY busy!

Helen Gray said...

Way to go, girls who got requests for full manuscripts from Emily Rodmell.


Get those stories finished and out there!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

I just really look fantastic. hehehe

Tina Radcliffe said...

Wow, congratulations ladies.

If I can do anything to help please email me privately.

Carol Moncado said...

Do you have about 50K words I could borrow Tina?


Thanks, darlins!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Speed dating huh? Well this time you got a winner!!!!! No bad dates for you four.

Digging for Pearls said...

Congratulations Mary, Jennifer and Carol. I'm so excited for all of us. Now the pressure is on, and boy am I nervous! Have a lot of words to write and edit in the next month. Any words of advice, wisdom for us?

Jodie Wolfe

Amy said...

A little bit about myself-
I am a homeschooling mom of 6 kids. From 14-2, they keep me pretty busy. Reading is my escape and I view my books as mini vacations. I am also a big Disney fan and wish I lived in Florida and had a day job working somewhere in Disney World.

Amy said...

Sorry, should have left my e-mail.

arsmelser6 at gmail dot com

Don't know where my initials went.

Mary Connealy said...


Mary Connealy said...

HI AMY!!!!!!!!!

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Ha! I just watched Joe Versus the Volcano last week. Funny :)

I am very, very blessed to be a stay-at-home mom to three little girls. I babysit for extra income as well as do some cleaning on the side, but only one day a week. It keeps me busy, yes, but it helps me appreciate what I do have. Doing more, keeping busy like that, has actually made me write more as well, so it's a good balance!

And once the kids are off to school full time, if I can still stay at home, then yay! I will be able to write almost full time and that's awesome!

Tina Radcliffe said...

WOW, Amy, let me introduce you to Virginia Munoz and Ruth Logan Herne. Love Inspired authors with six kiddos.


Tina Radcliffe said...

Your time is coming Cindy. I used to take the playpen with me and clean houses for extra money when the kids were little. Before I graduated from nursing school.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Advice...go the Seekerville webpage and the book camp manual in the library and find the articles that speak to your particular area of weakness. Then grab a pen and a hammock and edit.

Tina Radcliffe said...

And don't stress. An editor sees the big picture. They are looking for plot and conflict and character. They don't get hung up on the stuff that critique partners get hung up on.

Julie Hilton Steele said...

Congrats to everyone who has had a great day today with the pitches!!! You all rock!

peace, Julie

Myra Johnson said...

WOW!!!!! Just popped in and saw the news from our Seekervillagers about the requests from Emily!

You go, girls!!!! Congratulations!!!

Mia Ross said...

Stopping in to congratulate the Seekers who've gotten requests from Love Inspired. Best of luck to all of you!

Anonymous said...

This is actually interesting.
Congrats to :Jodie,Jennifer,Mary and Carol!

I'm thinking that working at home might be the ideal, no?
The day job + writing life must be tiring, beyond what I can imagine.

Hats off to you Tina and everyone else in the same boat!

Although, if you love what you're doing, it doesn't feel like work, does it?


Carol Moncado said...


Naomi Rawlings said...

I'd give anything for a day job with insurance and a 401k and paid vacation. In fact, I wouldn't even need to have that day job, just so long as hubby had it. But alas, hubby and I live the life of the self employed, which also includes a 15% self employment tax from the IRS. Lucky us!

Thanks for the post Tina. I can definitely see the benefits to having a day job. :-)

Jan Drexler said...

Yay Pepper!!!

Jan Drexler said...

And Carol, et. al.

Advice? Listen to the Seekers.

And no, they didn't pay me for that.

Although chocolate would be welcome...

Jan Drexler said...


I'm a graduated homeschool mom (aka - our youngest just graduated last month!). It's the best, absolute best, job I ever had.

Forced retirement is the only downside :)

Mary Curry said...

Yay Pepper!!!!!

So now we're 5, right?

Anyone else speed dating today?

Helen Gray said...

Way to go, Pepper!

Piper said...


I did the speed date, and I got a synopsis request. I am a little disappointed, but I guess it is better than a flat out reject! I will be sure to use the help that has been posted here in Seekerville to write a great one! Congrats to the five who got full requests!


Mary Curry said...

Congrats on the synopsis request, Piper. What a fabulous opportunity to convince Emily of how wonderful your story is!

Pepper said...

Loved this, Tina!

Day job? Oh yeah, and I love what I do.

For all the reasons you mentioned, but also because it's a 'calling' and another avenue of creativity.

Besides, a lot of book ideas come from my day job :-)

Pepper said...

Oh wow, look at all the congrats!
Thanks a bunch.

I'm terrified :-)

Anonymous said...

Go Pepper!! You can do everything through Emmanuel!



Clari Dees said...

Congratulations, speed daters! I knew that was going down today and was praying because I knew two of the ladies participating in it. So glad to see Seekervillagers did so well!

On another note, my day job today started with having to unplug a stopped up toilet and then clean up the overflow. There was a half-inch of water standing on the bathroom floor. Yuck. Didn't plan on being the janitor today. I feel a little like Ginger Rogers. You know...she did everything Fred Astaire did except backwards and in high heels? Well, I did the janitor's job in high heels! ;-)

Jamie Adams said...

Congrats on the full requests!! She only asked for 14 fulls out of 100 "dates". Way to go!

Myra Johnson said...

Pepper! Terrific!

What a great day in Seekerville!!!

Carol Moncado said...

Jamie - where did you see that?

5/14 are Seekerfriends? Wowzers! [Maybe more if we missed some?]

Jamie Adams said...

Carol I saw it on Twitter. 14 fulls and 27 proposals! I had signed up for the pitch but stepped down when another LIH editor requested a full. Can you imagine all the first sale parties coming up ;)

Piper said...

Thanks for your kind words, Mary. I do get to put "Requested Material" on the envelope--which is always good. 5/14 is a great record for Seekerville--and there may be probably more. Way to go Seekerville!


Donna said...

WOW, Jodie, Jennifer, Mary, Carol and Pepper! That is amazing! Congratulations!

Susan Anne Mason said...

How exciting for everyone! Congrats on all these requests! That's AWESOME!!

And yes, I love my day job. I've been blessed to be able to work part time as a church secretary for 12 years while my kiddies were in school. And I still love it. It structures my day and gives me time to do all my errands and still write! Lucky me!


Tina Pinson said...

I miss my day job sometimes, although I don't miss the running two businesses and watching grand kids at the same time and I don't know that I want a full time job anymore.

but getting out, clears your mind and gives you other people to talk to. maybe new ideas for story and characters.

I do miss the paycheck as well.

And maybe the day job forced me to sit down when I had the time and be more productive.

Tina P

Pam Hillman said...

Oh my!!! CONGRATS to Jodie, Jennifer, Mary, Carol, Piper, and Pepper! Hope I didn't miss anyone.

This is amazing!

I saw Jamie's comment about only 14 requesst and at least 5 are Seeker buds!


So what was that about horseshoes and hand grenades yesterday???

You gals are THIS CLOSE!

Mary Curry said...

Thanks, Pam. I was so afraid to post anything about This Close yesterday.

Today I'm joining Pepper in the ranks of the petrified.

Tina, this may be the time to take you up on that overdue phone call.

Cindy W. said...

I do appreciate my day job. It helps pay the bills, it provides us with health, vision & dental care. It provides a 401K and paid vacation and holidays. I don't however appreciate it as much as I wish I could. The new owners told us they wouldn't change anything. That was 3 years ago and we've had several changes each year since. The biggest change is coming soon...the change of our name...with that possibly our corporate office, where I work, may no longer exist as it will be engulfed by the parent company corporate office. But with that said, today I have a job and I'm sure the next couple of years until the dreaded name change comes. But by then our lives will change and I'll be a few years closer to retirement.

I really do appreciate my job...honest. :)

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.


Tina Radcliffe said...

Jeanne T..I understand parts of Colorado Springs is being evacuated. Let us know you are ok.

Tina Radcliffe said...


Jackie said...

Congrats to all of you who got requests! Way to go.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Those of you repped by agent Rachelle Gardner might want to check in with her and see if she is in the areas being evacuated.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Mary, call me this weekend. Email me at my aol address and I will send you my number.

Carol Moncado said...

Mary and Pepper -

We'll be a forest before you know it.

The petrified forest.

Though I'm more freaked out than petrified I think...

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Jennifer, that rocks! I knew it was today, but how fun! And isn't she a hoot, to use the speed date concept for pitching?

LOVE IT!!!!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Jodie, I missed that!!!! And Mary, Whooo hooo! Congrats, girls!

And I do believe Ginger's daughter was on the list today...

Although I probably shouldn't say that because if it's a NO... she'll kill me.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Carol, mega congrats to you! On the historical you started a few weeks back????

Oh my stars.

Forget the kids.


(Okay, don't really forget them, just buy lots of cereal.)

Awesome news chickies!!!! Happy dancing for you in upstate!

Debby Giusti said...

Congrats to all the Speed Daters!!! YAY!!! So thrilled for the requests.

I'm proud of all of you!!!!


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Hey, we've got folks in the line of fire in Colorado Springs area...

Jeanne T.... You're there, right??? Praying!

And Beth Vogt... Rachelle Gardner... Oh, I know there are others, feel free to throw names out there as we ask God to intervene as only He can, for the winds to calm, the heat to abate, the ground to cool and the firefighters be safe. God love them, one and all....

Praying in upstate!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

All right, now I'm glad I mentioned Ginger's daughter, LOL!

Yayayayay Pepper!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Piper, you grab that request and run with it, honey! I know it seems slight compared to a full, but it's really just one step removed.

Give it your best shot and if you need someone to read it before you send it, e-mail me. I'll do it that day. Promise.

Unless someone dies. Then it might be the next day. ;)

Annie Rains said...

Ruthie, are you a mind reader? I was just doing figures on paper today to see how much of my work load I could drop and still get by. Your blog must be a sign that I'm not ready to quit my day job yet, lol. Arghhhh.

Annie Rains said...

Sorry, I meant to say Tina. I saw Ruthie's name and it transferred to my fingers :)

Virginia said...

I missed this post!! But ehre I am now.

I couldn't finish a single novel until I quit my part time job. Between the 6 kids and being totally exhausted at night, there was no way to hack out some writing space. I needed quiet. And not the 'I'm unconscious' kind of quiet.

But it came with huge sacrifices. no more fun money, no more last-minute coffees, no more new clothes for me becuse my T-shirts are drab/stained/holey.

Then there were the comments and questions and rude asides from friends who thought I'd gone crazy. I told them I'd go back to work just as soon as I finished one book. But the I discovered I could actually make a little by writing articles for magazines.

Anyway, yes, paying bills is good. And my husband, bless his heart, just said, 'As long as you don't quit the family, I don't really care where you work'. :)

CatMom said...

Great post, Tina! If it wasn't for my major back/spine issues, I'd still be teaching kindergarten (and loving it, I'm sure). ~ Now I'm at home and striving to do what the Lord wants me to in this season of life. Besides writing and mission-related projects, my furry babies keep me busy too! (On a sad, personal note--my oldest kitty, Tubby, died early this morning...after having him 16 years, I'll miss him terribly...). ~ Hugs, Patti Jo

Pepper said...

Ginger's daughter left a message on your cell phone right after she finished pitching.

See how important you are to that spice!
A vital seasoning.

Just sayin

Piper said...

Seekerville is just great! Thanks for the support, Pam! Thanks for the offer to read Ruthie! I appreciate it!

In the midst of good news, it does put things in perspective to think about the folks in the Springs, as my sister says. She lives there and I am keeping everyone in my prayers.

Sorry to hear about your loss, Cat Mom.


Mary Connealy said...


Nancy C said...

Wonderful post, Tina . . . these words especially:

"The moment that I woke up and embraced MY reality was the moment I began to appreciate how very fortunate I was. My entire attitude changed."

I miss aspects of my paying job, like meeting so many talented people who refilled my 'creativity well' without even knowing. But that was then, and this is now ... and what I'm doing now is where I sense I'm supposed to be :-)

Looking forward to reading all these comments.

Nancy C

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Annie, honey, of course it did. Because I channel Tina....

Only I'm not as scary, bossy or organized.

But she makes the worlds' best chocolate cinnamon Italian cookies, oh mylanta, TO DIE FOR. So I'm nice to her.

And she could kill me bare-handed.

Jeanne T said...

Hey Tina, my family is fine. We're getting lots of smoke. For those of you who know Beth Vogt, her family has been evacuated from their home. Prayers would be wonderful. It's a huge and growing fire.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Pep, I had it with me!

Just in case... Oh, now I have to figure out how to find messages again!


Congrats, little one!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Patti Jo, hugs to you. I have kittens here.

They're adorable.

How can I get one to you?

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Jeanne, thanks for the update! Praying for all of you...

Jeanne T said...

Congratulations to all of you who got full requests today! How exciting!

Audra Harders said...

Carol, Jennifer, Jodie, Mary, Pepper and Piper! WooHoo! Dancin' all over the place for our Seekervillians : )

Dear Emily can spot talent and obviously it shows!

Get to writin', ladies.


Let's have some first sale parties!!!!!!!!!

Glynna Kaye said...

WOW! Major congratulations to ALL the "Speed daters!" Seeker Villagers are making quite a showing!!

Audra Harders said...

Colorado is just burning up.

We've had two more fires start up further north. I've been watching smoke just billow over the flatirons in Boulder. So depressing. Another fire started just north of that in Big Elk Meadow.


Stay safe eveyone in C. Sprgs!! I can't believe all the evacs. Praying for safety, protects and RAIN!

Nancy C said...

My gosh, did all of this happen in ONE DAY???

Congrats to Jodie, Jennifer, Carol, Mary Curry, and Pepper on the requests for fulls. Your 'that close' just got closer.

Piper, a synopsis request is super. She saw something of merit, something of interest, or she wouldn't have asked. Cheering you on.

Awww, Patti Jo. So sorry for your loss ... and yet, how wonderful that Tubby shared all those years with you.

And Tina! Book 3? Wow and double wow. You'll remind us when it's released, right? :-)

Nancy C

Digging for Pearls said...

Praying for those in Colorado.

I'm joining the petrified forest with my fellow Seeker followers. :)

Praying our words flow as we finish our WIP and submit them to Emily.

Jodie Wolfe

Tina Radcliffe said...

Thanks for checking in Jeanne!!!

We are praying!@

Tina Radcliffe said...

PIPER !!!! YOU TOO!!!!!


Happy to read it if you like.

I wrote an 11 page one for this last sale based on Michael Hague's Plotting thngie. Email if you want details.

Jennifer Thompson said...

Well, I saw a different side of this "success" tonight.

I told one of my oldest friends the great news and she hasn't spoken a word to me since and won't respond on facebook.

That bums me out...:(

Tina Radcliffe said...

Awe, Jennifer. So sorry.

Okay, group hug for Jen!!! xxxxxxxxxx

Mary Curry said...

That makes no sense to me at all, Jennifer. I'm so sorry. I'm praying she has a change of heart.


marybelle said...

The day job frees you up to follow your dreams.


Kayleen said...

I'd like to write full again, but working in a public middle school library qualifies me more as a middle school author and speaker. I think ppl are impressed that I say I like working with this age group. :)

Tina Radcliffe said...

I'm impressed Kayleen and that market is hot, hot, hot right now.

Start with your lunch hour. Get a pad and paper and start writing.

Can't remember her name, YA noveliss who wrote her first book on the subway commute each day.

PatriciaW said...

I don't think about quitting nearly as much as I used to, but it's still a dream. But I like chicken and health insurance too.

Edwina said...

Just celebrated my 8th anniversary at the church where I'm employed as a Church Business Administrator - 17 years in all as a CBA. I guess I like what I do. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Tina, I'm so sorry I missed this great post yesterday!! Excellent! And look at all the comments!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

LOL Patricia!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Congratulations, Edwina!!

Janet Kerr said...

I don't have a day job as such. Although I consider my writing my day job!