There is so much to unpack here about what “breaking in” means, and what it gets you
Question for Creators:

When you were breaking in, what was your day job?


If you're currently trying to break in, what is your day job?

Ha ha I never followed this up. Oh, adult obligations, why must you keep me from nattering on Twitter.

Right! What does it mean for a writer to “break in”? Is it selling a story? A novel? A series? Is it getting an agent? Does work for hire count, or self-publishing?

If it’s “quitting your day job,” gosh, that’s hardly any of us.


We often talk about careers like it’s climbing a mountain, and you can go up or you can slide back down and go back to where you started.

I think it’s a lot more like the Vomit Comet.

When you’re on a high, you really don’t feel high, you just sort of feel like you’re floating in place. And when the natural and inevitable comedown happens, you feel like you’re gonna crash and burrrrrrrn

That means a lot of writers never, ever, ever feel like they’ve broken in at all, not really. Whatever success they’ve had feels like it’s gone by morning.

Don’t worry about “breaking in.” Worry about getting to the next climb of the Vomit Comet, and make peace with the fact that it’s gonna be up and down and UP and WAY the heck down.

And it’s fine to have a day job. Make money so you can make art — it might even free you up to make the art you REALLT want to make, not the art you think the market is looking for.

And in conclusion, it’s OK to be where you are no matter what that looks like, you’re doing great sweetie, etc. etc.

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