Writing Exercise – Wanted: The Ideal Part-Time Job

There are several schools of thought when it comes to whether writers should have other jobs or not while they pursue their writing goals. Some writers support working a non-writing job – one that pays the bills and provides some sort of stability in your life. Some find this necessary financially, or find that it helps keep them dedicated to writing when they schedule out time to devote solely to their craft. Other writers believe more along the lines that to truly dedicate yourself to writing, you must concentrate on it solely, and – if you must – only take freelance work or part-time work to make ends meet, until (conceivably) you can support yourself with your writing itself. Of course, there are also those in between – writers who love teaching writing, or teaching in general to support their writing habit. There is no right answer – however you best write is the way that works for you.

Today’s writing exercise gives a nod to those writers who believe that writing should be your main focus, and jobs secondary, to support the writing either financially or as an idea generator. We’ve heard stories of writers who worked odd jobs that helped them gain experiences and stories that they then folded into their novels (or told to us outright in accounts), but what would be your ideal part-time job to support your writing habit?

Today’s writing exercise: “Wanted: ___________”

Write a Craigslist ad from the perspective of someone advertising for what you would consider the perfect part-time writing gig. If you’re stuck, I suggest heading to the Part-time or Etc. section of Craigslist for inspiration. There are some amazing posts there. For example, these are just a few I’ve seen: “Crime Scene Clean-Up Assistant,” “Hair Lice Removal Aide,” “Erotic Book Ghostwriter,” “Jogging Partner,” and (I know someone who took this one) “On-Call Driver for Busy Producer”

Here are some tips as you write out your Wanted ad.

  • Think about who is writing this ad. What type of personality are they? How much are they willing to pay? Are they sane? Naive? This will help develop a character you might come to use later.
  • Remember the logistics. No one responds to vague Craigslist posts (or do they…) – so remember to give details such as rate, responsibilities, schedule requirements, location, and contact details.
  • Have fun with it. This is idea generation, so don’t get too caught up in the brainstorming process, and just start writing!

Want to share your Wanted ad here? Post it in the comments section below. Who knows, maybe you’ll get some responses…

Posted on: October 14, 2014, by : adoylewriter