It’s early yet, but in the spirit of John Scalzi’s Thanksgiving Advent Calendar, I thought I would focus on the things for which I am grateful. I have much for which to be thankful, including a mother who taught me not to end a sentence with a preposition, which is why I rewrote that previous sentence.
Today’s exercise in gratitude is dedicated to my day job.
I would love to be able to be a full-time writer. I daydream of waking up, going for a walk, then coming home to sit down at my computer and spend the day telling stories, hanging out with my imaginary friends, and researching the issues that confront them. But I know that is a daydream, a near impossibility for me. Why? Well, there’s the student loans that I will have hanging over my head for the next 30 years or so. And how my self-employed husband and I have come to enjoy the luxury of health insurance.
I am lucky, though, to have found a career that I love. I know many lawyers don’t like their jobs. Many of my friends who are lawyers would gladly chuck their jobs to do, well, pretty much anything else. I actually like my job. It can be frustrating, difficult, and at times even heartbreaking. But I get to challenge myself intellectually and, best of all, help people who are in a bad situation. That is rewarding.
I also get to tell those people’s stories, though not with the creative license I would have if I were a full-time fiction writer. The true stories that I get to share with judges and juries, however, are often every bit as compelling.
So, yes, I will probably bitch about my day job. But if given a whopping advance to write, say, a multi-book series — well, that would be a tough call.
For about a minute.
Until a whopping advance gets thrown my way, I’m happy to keep working in a job that lets me meet interesting people, learn something new every day, and work with fun, smart co-workers.
And I’m thankful for that.