Don't Quit Your Day Job:

Use It!

Copyright Beth Morrow  
- All Rights Reserved


Regardless of the stage you’re at in your writing career, you’ve no doubt heard the advice to keep your day job more than once. And unless you’re making six-figure advances, it’s a good rule of thumb to follow. 

But before you start to take out your anger on your line of work because it comes between you and your writing passion, why not take a fresh look at how it can actually help grow your writing career?

Meshing your writing with your day job—or hobby, other pastimes, areas where you have specialty knowledge or an in-depth understanding—can benefit your writing career on many levels.

If you’re a beginning writer, you can add much-needed clips to your portfolio or website. You’ll get the experience of working on deadline with editorial staff and have the chance to hone your skills with the possibility of being published.

Are you established? Promote your currently published work through short, targeted articles that focus on a particular area of expertise touting your byline and bio (for example, if your latest novel is set in a particular city, you can pen an article of an aspect of that city you’ve discovered through research) or approach an editor with a column idea based on insight you think the editor might find valuable to readers of his/her publication to grow your readership and fan base for even more future sales.

Now that you’ve got an idea why you should write, let’s look at what you can write. With a little thought, there are a variety of options to pursue.

If you’re interested in starting small, see if your employer sends out a newsletter, either print or electronic. Perhaps you can conduct interviews with colleagues or clients on a monthly basis for each issue. Many editors, especially ones with small or non-existent budgets and staff, seek quality content to interest readers but have few regular writers. Other popular ideas are reviews of products pertinent to your business, books reviews on topics that apply to your area, even reviews of websites colleagues can use as resources.

Seeking something bigger? Check out trade publications and other publications that cater to business or industry related to yours. Like editors at smaller publications, trade magazines have a pressing need for timely articles, reviews and interviews within their content area and many times will look to establish a long-term relationship with writers who can offer specialty writing for their publication. Editors at trade and smaller magazines are often more willing to discuss article and column ideas with you if you have knowledge—or even a serious interest—in an area that appeals to their readers and a willingness to work with them.

At some point, every writer daydreams about submitting their resignation in the real world to spend their days alone with words. Until then, take the time to use that day job to your advantage. You never know where the next article idea might lead.


About the author:Beth Morrow is a freelance author who dreams of someday spending an entire day writing in her pyjamas. For now, she’s happy teaching middle school ESL and researching a business book with a fast-approaching deadline. Visit her online at:   



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