Full Time

I very rarely talk about my day job.  I talk so little about it that few of you even know I HAVE a day job, and that’s just fine with me.

You see, when I think of my favorite authors sitting at their desks hunched over their word processors, I see that typical romantic portrait of writers and have a hard time imagining them punching a time clock in some factory, or typing up a deposition for their boss or sliding a plate of sausage and eggs in front of a truck driver at Moe’s Highway Diner.

So I figure that when readers read a Robert Gregory Browne thriller, they don’t really want to think about him filling out a time card every month.   Knowing that he has a day job kind of kills things.  I mean, after all, how good can the guy be if he needs another job to get by?

But like most writers, I lead a dual life.  By day, I produce and edit videos for an educational institution, and by night I write thrillers with a supernatural twist.

At least some writers have cool day jobs.  Lawyers, newspaper reporters, doctors, private investigators, television producers. Editing educational videos, however, is not a cool job.  I’ve been doing double duty for almost five years now and, frankly, it is finally taking its toll.  

But I’ve been very fortunate on the writing front lately, and I’m happy to announce that, starting in December, I’m joining the ranks of my fulltime writer friends.  From then on my days will be fully dedicated to writing.

What a concept.  A writer who writes full time.

There have been times I’ve wondered if it would ever happen.  Now I realize that I wouldn’t be able to survive mentally and physically if it didn’t.

After almost five years of working two time-consuming jobs, I’ll finally get my life back.  I’ll be able to watch some movies.  Catch up on some TV shows.  Maybe even talk to my wife once in awhile.  And sleep?  Oh, Lord, I can’t wait.

When my buddy Brett went full time, he talked about it here.  I was glad to hear he was making the leap, but I was also envious as hell.  At the time I probably COULD have joined him, but I stayed prisoner to the psychological pull of that steady paycheck and that nice health insurance plan.

Going full time is still a scary proposition, but I really have no choice at this point.  I’m too goddamn busy not to.

So I hope you’ll help me celebrate this change in my life.  I’m finally at a point where I can do what I really love to do and make a comfortable living at it.

Here’s hoping it lasts.

And here’s hoping that all of you writers out there who dream of joining me will see that dream come true very soon.

You deserve it.


25 thoughts on “Full Time

  1. Jessica Scott

    Wow, something I can completely relate to. My day job currently has me deployed to Iraq. I’m a soldier and for the next 8 years, I plan on being both soldier and writer. Oh and don’t forget about full time mom, wife, taxi cab…you get the idea.

    Congratulations on joining the ranks of the full time writers. I’m looking forward (waay forward) to that day when I retire from active duty and can join you.
    In the mean time, got any time management tips? I think I’m going to be a little busy when I get back to the states.

  2. Rob Gregory Browne

    Jessica, first of all, thanks so much for your service. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to be deployed in Iraq.

    As for time management, that has always been my problem. I have so little time to manage. Back before I had deadlines to contend with, things were a little easier, but as I’ve faced more of them over the years, I’ve found that it’s VERY difficult to find time to write, to meet those deadlines, and to produce quality work. I would have to take vacation days to do it. Schedule entire weekends for nothing but writing.

    And as you can imagine, it got to be too much very fast. So I’m probably the last guy in the world to be asking about time management…. 🙂

  3. kit

    Congrats to you…in my mind’s eye..

    .I always had this mental picture of writers busily and happily plugging away at typewriters(later on word processers) or wearing bagging sweaters, with somewhat vague expressions from plotting stories in their heads.
    Certainly not, harried people with TO-DO lists as long as their arm.
    I hope your transition is smooth…..good luck, and may the force be with you…..

  4. TerriMolina

    Congratulation Robert!

    For the past 17 years my day job has been as the stay-at-home parent and you’d think that would mean I have all the time in the world to write…but, not so much (there is always something going on that pulls me away from the computer). Of course I don’t actually miss punching a time clock…but I do miss having a live conversation with an adult. =)

    Best of Luck on your new venture!

  5. Allison A. Davis

    About 25 years ago, before I went to law school, I had about six months where I wrote full time and apparently didn’t appreciate it enough to stay and plug away (I was sooooooo poor)…published lots of articles and stories but made very little money. Now that I’ve been a lawyer for over 20 years, I should have lots of money, and get ready to do the writing gig again, right? Doesn’t work that way. You get entrenched into the life, or you get divorced or other life things happen and you realize that if you want to write, you just gotta write. You can’t wait around for that perfect moment. So I did my 300 words last night, worked on my outline this morning after walking the dog and now I’m at my desk.

    So Rob, wow, that transition is huge and it is no small task to plunge in and say "this is it, this is what I want and I’m taking it." Here’s to you. You’ll miss the structure at first (no really) but you’ll find your rhythm and it’ll be wonderful.

    Me next, me next.

  6. Alafair

    A big congratulations! I hope to see a future post from you about whether it changes your approach to writing or simply frees up more hours.

  7. Louise Ure

    Congratulations, my dear.

    I must admit that I was truly naive at the beginning of my writing career, and was stunned to discover how many of my favorite authors worked at IBM or AT&T or my local Starbucks as a day job. I, too, held that "writer musing at her keyboard" image in my mind.

    Hope you’ve got the health care thing covered. And I hope you love the new writing regime!

  8. J.F. Constantine

    I am not jealous, I am inspired by you. 🙂

    I’m proud you have made it to that point, and hope to hell I do someday.

    I have one of those jobs you describe as "cool" – legal department of a Fortune 50 company. It ain’t cool. It’s pushing little pieces of paper around on my desk everyday, while I dream of the stories I’m working on at night and on the weekends. 🙁 Definitely, not cool…

    Again, congrats to you!


  9. Brett Battes

    Hey J.F….I know EXACTLY what you mean. I had one of those so called cool jobs, too, before I went full time. I was the Executive Producer in the on air graphics department at E! Entertainment Television. I’m sure there were lots of people who would have loved to be in that position and would have considered it a career. To me it was only a job that kept a roof over my head. 🙂

  10. Jason Schklar

    ‘Grats, Robert!

    It’s hard to evaluate the tradeoff between "too tired to succeed because I’ve got a day job that leaves me drained" and "too stressed out to focus on success because I don’t have a safety net" until you just get out there and do it.

    I’ve been self-employed for 1.5 years now and it’s been a wild, scary, and exciting ride.

    Keep us informed of how it goes!


  11. Rob Gregory Browne

    Thanks, all for your well wishes. Sara, love the Ten Commandments. Although I make no guarantees about the first one.

    Louise, health care is covered thanks to my lovely wife, who will continue to work at her day job. She continues to slave away, as I suspect all of our spouses do, while I’ll be lazing around the house eating chocolates and watching television.

    She has always been my rock. Put up with a creative type for many, many years — which basically means I’m a complete slob who moves from crappy job to crappy job. Fortunately, this latest job has not been all that crappy and I’m actually retiring with a very small pension. Every little bit helps.

  12. BCB

    Okay, I wasn’t even the least little bit jealous until you mentioned that whole eating chocolate thing. But now I’m reduced to a quivering mass of green…

    Seriously, that is a huge step in your career, one I know you worked damned hard for, and I’m very happy for you.

    I’m pretty sure that if I didn’t have the day job compelling me to get up, get dressed and leave my house five days a week . . . I wouldn’t. I’d have to do volunteer work or something instead to fend off spider webs and mold.


Leave a Reply to Allison A. Davis Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *