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Engineers are not good at dealing with people.

4 February 2011

Ah, Office Space. For any of us who have worked for a large (or even a small) company, there’s a lot of truth in that movie. Sure, our actual work situations are probably better (I don’t have a boss anything like Lumberg. . . well, not at this job), but there’s still a kernel of truth to the film, which is what makes it so funny.

I wonder at people who write without having ever held a day job. There are just so many experiences there, so many personalities and situations to be data-mined for future stories. I’m a character guy, and I like characters that seem real (even in fantasy stories where nothing else seems remotely real, I like to have one person to identify with or at least root for). But if you haven’t gotten out there and gotten to interact with real people, how can you write them effectively?

A lot of people I know who write also have day jobs. I think most writers, in general, unless they’re at Neil Gaiman or Stephen King levels, still do some form of day job. And a lot of us (myself included) bitch about having to get up in the morning, having to work when we’d rather be writing, not getting enough vacation time, not getting enough sleep (writing is a full-time job, too). . .

But I think we should probably be thankful for our day jobs. Not only do they subsidize our writing habits, but they give us valuable insight into the human condition, and give us a way to watch human interactions without the police being called (man, I still remember that time). That is, of course, until we get to Tom Clancy levels, where we can pay people to have interactions for us.

So, what’s your day job? And how does it help you create?

One Comment leave one →
  1. 11 February 2011 2040

    day job. Tech support. YAY. How does it help. Erm……………………………… lets me know who I DON’T want to be writing for?? lol

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