Writing Craft

Writing Jobs for Writers

As much as many writers working toward publication would love to quit their day jobs so they can work on their own writing full time, for most that’s not financially possible. And for some, working at another job is something they want to do anyway. Either way, if you work at another job or are beginning a job search anytime soon, here’s an important reason why having a job (besides your own writing) can actually make you a better writer. 

I consider it one of the of the best writing tips I’ve ever received, and it was given to me years ago was when I first began writing seriously. It came from a presenter at a regional writing conference in my area. She told all of us, “Keep your day job.”  I thought her reason for that advice was purely financial which would make sense. Most writers don’t earn enough from their own published books to support themselves well. Not at first anyway. But that’s not what she was referring to. The reason she felt that we should keep our jobs was because of the life experience it would bring to our writing. The people, the situations, the problems, the drama…all of it would help fill our writer’s cups with stuff we could use to round out our stories. 

Back then, though, I didn’t have an outside job. I was a stay-at-home mom with dreams of being published. I hung onto hope that my previous years working in a myriad of positions, both paid and volunteer, would give me the experience I needed to be a good writer. And I know it did. My middle grade series was inspired by my involvement in Odyssey of the Mind. After coaching eight teams over seven years, I had more than enough character and plot inspiration to fill a whole series! 

But I never forgot her advice. Even after I became published, I always knew that if and when I took a job outside of writing my own books, that I would look at it as a chance to refill my writer’s cup. I would embrace the new experience and think of anything that I learned as story potential. So, when I began a seasonal job in the fall of 2021, that’s exactly what I did and continue to do now. I had no idea how much my new role would change me as a writer, though. Every day, I’m privy to a world of heartache, inspiration, angst, dream-chasing, resilience, and determination like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I’ve been exposed to more topics than I could read in a lifetime of books! What is beatbox dance? I can tell you. Is YouTube the way many kids learn how to code? I know that answer. What are the languages of code? I actually know that too. What is education like in some of the poorest areas of the richest countries? Well, I’m sad to say that I have a good idea. What is one of the biggest fears that kids all over the globe share? After reading almost a thousand writing samples over the last two years, I can confidently say what I think it is. 

The role that I’m honored to have is both fascinating and inspiring. It’s opened my world in a way that most definitely is making me a better writer. When we are exposed to other people’s experiences, especially ones much different than our own, we learn empathy. And that’s an incredibly important trait for writers to have. We want readers to empathize with our characters and as such, we need to feel it ourselves first. 

So, what is this magical job that has led me to these new people and experiences? I’m working remotely as a college admissions reader at a prestigious university. It’s a seasonal position that works perfectly with my writing schedule. The position spans November through mid-March and I choose my own hours. It may not be perfect or interesting to everyone but it’s perfect for me. Even though it’s a lot of reading—like so much, and some days I’m drinking gobs of coffee while adding capfuls of saline to my contacts, I’m happy to be doing it. It gives me a break from my own writing and like I said before, it fills my writer’s cup. 

In writing this blog post, I wanted to do some research and include suggestions for other jobs that are perfect for writers. But rather than compile my own list, I found one, already posted on the Grammarly blog, that said it better than I could. The post is linked below so you can read it for yourself. Maybe one of the jobs will be just what you’re looking for!


I hope you find this information useful. And as always, thank you so much for reading. With so many people and things pulling your focus in a thousand directions, I’m grateful when you spend a few minutes of your day here! Until next week, here’s a peek at my work view today. I need to document it because there’s no snow in sight which is a miracle for sure!