All the fiction writers I know also hold down paying jobs — the kind that come with salaries you can actually live on. Some work because they want to. Others, because they have to. Either way, most of them occasionally resent the time and energy work steals from their writing lives. It does sap needed brain space. There’s no denying it.
But in the spirt of viewing the glass as half-full, let’s dwell instead on the ways our work-a-day jobs have helped our writing. Let’s share the writing fodder we’ve gleaned from the work world. I’ll go first. Over the course of my years in the workforce, I have met characters — eccentrics and psychos and sadists (and of course some terrific folks, too) — whom I never could have conjured on my own, at least not without the help of a mind-altering substance and a rabbit hole to tumble into. Their craziness has helped inform a few of the more memorable characters in my fiction. Thank you, former colleagues.
Now, how about you? Surely you’ve gained something useful in the fictional sense from your job. Share…but don’t say anything that could get you fired. The Man’s got ears.