March 19, 2019, 04:04:45 AM

Author Topic: Jobs or Degrees outside of Writing?  (Read 5705 times)

Offline zmunkz

Re: Jobs or Degrees outside of Writing?
« Reply #30 on: December 07, 2015, 03:34:51 AM »
My degrees were in Physics and Computer Engineering, but somehow I ended up developing software for a financial company for several years, until corporate america dried out my soul.  So I walked away from that to try and make my own way.  Now I do a lot of different things, and one of them -- hopefully -- will be professional writing!
"People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do." --Isaac Asimov

Offline OhTheSqualor

Re: Jobs or Degrees outside of Writing?
« Reply #31 on: December 07, 2015, 03:46:25 PM »
My degrees were in Physics and Computer Engineering, but somehow I ended up developing software for a financial company for several years, until corporate america dried out my soul.  So I walked away from that to try and make my own way.  Now I do a lot of different things, and one of them -- hopefully -- will be professional writing!

Good luck!  While obviously what I do is different, I can strongly relate to the idea of being burnt out as a drone in the machine.

Out of curiosity, have you ever thought about signing on for a startup and seeing while writing on the side and seeing what happened?  I'd always wished I'd learned some decent computer engineering to give that sort of thing a shot.
Check out my site!!! Oh The Squalor

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Offline zmunkz

Re: Jobs or Degrees outside of Writing?
« Reply #32 on: December 07, 2015, 04:20:45 PM »
Good luck!  While obviously what I do is different, I can strongly relate to the idea of being burnt out as a drone in the machine.

Yeah, it's a tricky thing.  I do miss the nice paychecks, but pretty much everything else in my life has improved since getting out of that world.  Something about trading 5 days of my week to fatten someone else's wallet just didn't do it for me.  And what good is cash in the bank with hardly any free time or energy to use it?

Out of curiosity, have you ever thought about signing on for a startup and seeing while writing on the side and seeing what happened?  I'd always wished I'd learned some decent computer engineering to give that sort of thing a shot.

I do like the startup culture in general... you feel more in control of what is going on and why it is worth your time.  But right now I'm doing consulting which gives me enough free time to take up other trades, such as writing for instance.  Not sure how easily someone could balance writing with a software startup, usually the hours in that atmosphere are grueling.

BTW, nice blog, I checked it out. 
"People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do." --Isaac Asimov

Offline OhTheSqualor

Re: Jobs or Degrees outside of Writing?
« Reply #33 on: December 07, 2015, 06:18:08 PM »
Good luck!  While obviously what I do is different, I can strongly relate to the idea of being burnt out as a drone in the machine.

Yeah, it's a tricky thing.  I do miss the nice paychecks, but pretty much everything else in my life has improved since getting out of that world.  Something about trading 5 days of my week to fatten someone else's wallet just didn't do it for me.  And what good is cash in the bank with hardly any free time or energy to use it?

Out of curiosity, have you ever thought about signing on for a startup and seeing while writing on the side and seeing what happened?  I'd always wished I'd learned some decent computer engineering to give that sort of thing a shot.

I do like the startup culture in general... you feel more in control of what is going on and why it is worth your time.  But right now I'm doing consulting which gives me enough free time to take up other trades, such as writing for instance.  Not sure how easily someone could balance writing with a software startup, usually the hours in that atmosphere are grueling.

BTW, nice blog, I checked it out.

Thanks for the blog compliment.  I'm new to this (obviously), so any and all feedback is appreciated.
I didn't realize you're consulting.  That sounds like a good gig as well.  I think it all comes back to the old question - as you mentioned above - of essentially trading your precious time away to someone else in return for dollars.  I have yet to decide where I stand on all of this.
Check out my site!!! Oh The Squalor

Or drop me a line on Twitter

Offline J.R. Darewood

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Re: Jobs or Degrees outside of Writing?
« Reply #34 on: March 11, 2016, 02:29:31 AM »
I worked in a packaging plant in High School
Got my EMT cert then worked on an ambulance through college (and as a sports med tech at rugby games) and in a hospital during summers
got a BA in Biology (and Peace Studies) but realized medicine is profiting off sick people and couldn't go through with med school
spent some time in South America interning with an environmental organization
then worked as a PA on a news-magazine TV show that acquired a documentary distribution nonprofit
I also waited tables at the same time
I eventually quit so i could have the free time to make my own documentary about an oil refinery that exploded in south america and paid for it by gogo dancing, tho it was a mixed bar, mostly filipina elementary school teachers would come in to stick dollar bills in our underpants (left with like 75$/hr it wasn't bad even if you felt weird paying for things with crumpled dollar bills covered in baby oil)
Then I moved to Asia taught english in China for 3 months and did research for an Int'l NGO in Vietnam for 6 months, then picked up a job working with homeless kids in Indonesia making music videos while researching another human rights doc for like 1.5 years
Moved back to the US for a couple of months and did bartending
Bartended in a giant nightclub that hosted a male revue for women (serving drinks in a bowtie with no shirt- most money I ever made actually) then worked for an environmental Political Action Committee in California for a year or two
After that I went to grad school
but while in grad school i did contract work for international NGOs working in Mali and Niger, documenting innovations (more like reformations) in emergency relief (humanitarian aid to starving nomads in the middle of the Sahara) and microfinance
I also took a year off to be a policy analyst for a small environmental justice organization in LA where everyones sick from pollution
Then i did research in SE Asia and S. America for 4 years.  Wrote my dissertation
Now I have a PhD in Applied Anthropology
I got a temp gig teaching Visual Anthropology (Filmmaking for anthropologists/anthropology for filmmakers)
But mostly I'm broke. i've got some grant apps out to fund my next filmmaking adventure but these grants take a ton of effort to write and they barely cover my costs.
I hate academia, but my academic writing does really well (I get people asking me to write chapters in their books etc. and actually this latest teaching job someone asked me to come teach it, I didn't apply), but getting a tenure-track academic job (the only kind that pays a living wage) is exhausting and there's too competitive so i don't know if I'm good enough and the environment is often catty and awful and now I'm overqualified to go back to NGOs or do something fun and creative which I'd rather do than academia anyway.

So I play the Powerball a lot and dream of quitting my life.  If that Powerball doesn't pan out, my other dream is writing creative nonfiction or this fantasy series that's been burning a hole in my mind.

I have to write it, whether it does well or not, but i dream of being able to write full time, even though I know I've got a snowballs chance in hell. My fantasy series is sort of meh and it's taking years to revise it and its still not good enough so... we'll see what happens I guess

I've got a short story about a dude that really has to take a shit in a charity anthology on Amazon that everyone seems to like,  And another story about a guy that calls a phone number he sees scrawled on a public toilet stall in another charity anthology, but that's about it.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2016, 02:44:59 AM by Bradley Darewood »

Offline night_wrtr

Re: Jobs or Degrees outside of Writing?
« Reply #35 on: March 11, 2016, 02:41:23 PM »
Hmm, I could have sworn I posted in this thread earlier.

I have a degree in History and Religious Studies. Perfect background for a fantasy writer! All kinds of inspiration in those two fields. Too bad the real world laughs at my degree choice. Hopefully, my writing will pay off and I can laugh back.

Offline Hedin

Re: Jobs or Degrees outside of Writing?
« Reply #36 on: March 11, 2016, 02:56:04 PM »
I really considered changing to a History major after I decided not to do med school but I couldn't think of anything career wise to do with that degree. 

Offline night_wrtr

Re: Jobs or Degrees outside of Writing?
« Reply #37 on: March 11, 2016, 04:08:30 PM »
I really considered changing to a History major after I decided not to do med school but I couldn't think of anything career wise to do with that degree. 

There isn't much out there. If you get a masters you could teach. Though, I don't think a teacher's salary is worth the extended study and loans.

Offline Blackthorn

Jobs or Degrees outside of Writing?
« Reply #38 on: March 11, 2016, 07:08:17 PM »
Well now ive gotta jump in on this thread.

In fall ill be starting on an aircraft maintenance degree. Not one bit related to writing, but I feel it does help with certain aspects of creating a world if it contains mechanical transportation of some kind

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Jobs or Degrees outside of Writing?
« Reply #39 on: March 11, 2016, 07:23:36 PM »
I love this thread.

And I thought I'd leave for others to comment, but it's been almost a full day, and nothing?
No Bradley=gogo dancer jokes?
You're letting me down...
 ;D
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Offline m3mnoch

Re: Jobs or Degrees outside of Writing?
« Reply #40 on: March 11, 2016, 07:30:02 PM »
I love this thread.

And I thought I'd leave for others to comment, but it's been almost a full day, and nothing?
No Bradley=gogo dancer jokes?
You're letting me down...
 ;D

man, oh man.  i've deleted sooooo many words on the whole topless bartending thing.  i'm trying to come up with something that is funny, yet still pg-13.

but, trust me.  inside my head, shit is goddamn hilarious.

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Jobs or Degrees outside of Writing?
« Reply #41 on: March 11, 2016, 07:31:56 PM »
You can write non pg 13 and PM to a selected few of us. We need to laugh 8)
(including Bradley, I'm not suggesting it's disrespectful in any way)

and I thought Bradley was like 20. but if so he'd have to have left abroad at about 3 years old hehe
« Last Edit: March 11, 2016, 07:34:07 PM by ScarletBea »
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Offline Lady Ty

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Re: Jobs or Degrees outside of Writing?
« Reply #42 on: March 11, 2016, 11:18:55 PM »
Bradley that was some fabulous resume and I dread to think what will happen if we get back to our RPG sometime, your sense of humour better be top-notch.

And BTW the anthology of horror stories, with Bradley's hilariously horrendous toilet story is great.

http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/advertising-your-novels/charity-horror-anthology-on-sale-feb-8-12/msg131465/#msg131465
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Offline cupiscent

Re: Jobs or Degrees outside of Writing?
« Reply #43 on: March 12, 2016, 05:00:36 AM »
I don't know what to do in the face of Bradley's amazing curriculum vitae. Wow.

Far less interestingly, I have a degree in Arts and Asian Studies, with first-class honours in international relations / strategic history. (I wrote a thesis on the interpretation of Clausewitzian theories in American military strategy in the latter half of the twentieth century, but that was fifteen years ago now and I no longer understand it myself.)

I studied writing and editing while working at a bookshop as a spruiker (I was a public speaker at school, so figured it would be fine - nope, terrifying, but now there is nothing in the world that can possibly embarrass me, so that's a side benefit) and at a small press as a jack-of-all-trades - editing, typesetting, design, proofreading, you name it. Eventually adult responsibility meant I had to get a job that actually paid ok, so I went into state government and ended up coordinating communications for a unit working on efficiencies in whole-of-government IT. It was actually really fascinating for a nerd like me, and I learned a lot about targeted writing - i.e. identify your purpose and audience, and then make every sentence an arrow aiming for that target. It applies to fiction too.

I am now a stay-at-home mum, which gives me a little more leeway for writing, yay. I'd like to do a Masters in creative writing one of these days.

Offline Steve Jackson

Re: Jobs or Degrees outside of Writing?
« Reply #44 on: March 13, 2016, 12:34:40 AM »
I am a consultant in digital media, currently working with several music recording studios, a robotic design firm, and several colleges doing things from working with curriculum to designing television studios.  I also do consulting in program development for universities, helping programs move to a sustainable model when faced with state budget cuts.  On the side I keep my hand in my original career of film and television directing and have a couple of projects per year.  I also maintain a History of the Great War website, am a game designer, and run a scholarly group called the Thin Tweed Line, which are all writing like though.

For public service I have a certificate in Law Enforcement from the South Carolina Academy, and formerly held certification as a forensic investigator.  I spent 5 years of road duty 2-nights a week.  During that time I was a "first in" building entry person, worked with investigations involving digital video, but otherwise my religion prevented me from being a super cop and I was pretty ineffective as one - except for the video stuff I did.

I try to work with students in creative projects as much as possible due to my religion and personal beliefs.  In fact, I just raised about $90,000 to support a group of student filmmakers and authors develop a web series from script to screen and am negotiating with a couple of universities to see where the project will be based.  I have a soft promise of a Scarlett and Avid is coming through with stuff for the project since it will likely be based at an Avid Certified location.

As an aside I have a BS (HON) in Human Studies with majors in History, Religion, Business, and English; a MS in Communication Studies in history of technology, and completed my coursework, dissertation, and competencies in a Ph.D. in Communication but the university would not issue the degree when I came down with a fatal degenerative illness.  I survived the illness, but never got the degree so I am the only person in the world who is legally ABD for the rest of their life.  Related to others in this field I have worked with anthropological film, but Nanook never pays and if you do not belong to the "in crowd" in anthropology (anthropologists can be quite snooty about professional playing in their gardens) you cannot get people to take your work serious, but I admire people who do work in it.  I was a close follower of Karl Heider and took classes with him when I was more into it, so the anthropologists on this forum have a tip of my hat.

More important than me is my wife.  She is a PhD biology who worked for the Brazilian Navy for years, a former ballerina, multi-lingual (Portuguese, Spanish, English, Italian, and for all I know, Urdu).  She is a professor of anatomy and physiology teaching in a nursing program, and a volunteer in the health field with her EMT and STNA.  My students when I was a professor said that she was an 8 who somehow married a 4-1/2.  :)

Edited to add LEO work and things about wife.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2016, 12:57:03 AM by Steve Jackson »