October 4, 2010
Staff Picks: Don't Quit Your Day Job
I'm pretty sure that my blind headfirst leap into writing fiction occurred for the same reasons it occurred with my brethren: I had discovered some new types of music, I'd been scorned one too many times by a woman, and my summer job involved driving a garbage truck.In "Tote Monkey," Josilyn Jackson writes:
I said, "Sure. I will be an office assistant. Why not?" I know the answer to that now. The job should have been called Paper Tote Monkey. Because that's what I did. I toted paper. [...] I learned quickly that since I had flunked out of school, gotten in a fight with God, moved away from all my friends, and was so ashamed that I was desperate to avoid my family, boredom was the worst thing for me. Being a Tote Monkey gave me way too much time to think, and I spent it dwelling on all the ways I'd failed.Don't worry... it's gotten much better for Ms. Jackson. She's now the New York Times bestselling author of gods in Alabama, Between, Georgia, The Girl Who Stopped Swimming and Backseat Saints. Some people work to satisfy their creative urges outside of their day job; Their are poets in our factories, painters in our corn fields and short story writers in our used-car lots. Being a garbage man or an office assistant is honorable, and is fulfilling work if approached right. But Don't Quit Your Day Job reinforces that sometimes you have to (quit your day job), that there's also honor in pursuing your passion as your career. And, hey, sometimes it even works out.
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.