Why I Keep My Day Job a Secret Online

I get asked about my Secret Work-From-Home Day Job a lot.  Like, a LOT.  I think it’s because people are curious about how I keep the bills paid, but there’s also a fair amount of mystification: What kind of job could possibly be so important that Ian feels the need to hide it with such exaggeration?

First off, my Day Job’s nothing special or important—it’s actually pretty boring.  But I still don’t talk about it online because I think it’s bad form for anyone (creative person or otherwise) to talk about their Day Jobs online in ways that aren’t pertinent to their professional lives.  It’d be one thing if I were starting an amazing new job Continue reading »

Don’t Obsess About Your Work Being “Legitimate”

I have a friend who’s working on a novel in her spare time.  It’s an ongoing project that she devotes an hour to every so often in the evening or on a weekend, and she has a lot of fun working on it when she can.

Sometimes the two of us discuss writing and she talks about her novel in a passionate, excited way that makes me excited too.  Other times she’ll talk about problems Continue reading »

How to Show People You’re Serious About Your Creative Work

A couple years ago, I had a Day Job where sometimes I had to go to parties with my coworkers and other people involved with where I worked.  These parties were usually pretty awkward because I was the youngest one there and didn’t have much in common with the people around me.

At one of them, though, I met a guy a few years older than me who was pretty interesting, and I told him that I’d lived in Japan and was working on a novel about the lives of foreigners there. Continue reading »