Sometimes when people find out my novel is being published, they ask “So are you writing full time?” At least for now, my answer is a big ol’ no. And for a lot of writers, especially those who haven’t really established themselves yet, alternate jobs are a necessity.
The same goes for many Olympic athletes. I’d wager that most of the time, the people we see competing aren’t supporting themselves by their sport. At least some employers can be understanding of athlete’s alternate careers, as in triathlete Gwen Jorgensen’s case:
“After the Olympics, Jorgensen, 26, tells the Minneapolis Star Tribune she plans to return to her job as an accountant at Ernst & Young in Milwaukee. Though she worked full-time at the start of her career as a triathlete, E&Y allowed her to scale back her office time as she became more proficient, she says. Her co-workers decorated her desk with Olympic paraphernalia, says the Tribune, when she qualified for the London games.”
First of all, she can do triathlons at this level and understand accounting? That’s like ten times my maximum productivity level. (See also, Stephanie.) Second, it’s wonderful that her office is so supportive of her athletic career. I’m fortunate to have coworkers who know all about the book and ask how the writing is going.
I think most writers and athletes would like to pursue their chosen field full-time, but that’s not always feasible. At the very least, it’s good to know that anyone trying to balance writing with another job is not alone.
Also check out this list of famous writers who never gave up their day jobs.