Ken asked Rick Gualtieri:

Based upon some of your other posts it can be inferred that you are not the classic depiction of an author in that you are still maintaining your original form of employment with writing as a (hopefully) lucrative side job. Do the two mesh well or does it require careful handling to keep the two as separate activities?

Rick Gualtieri I'd say the vast majority of authors fall into that category. It's hard to make a living as a writer. I will say I've been very lucky in it and I probably *could* transition successfully to full time and am planning to if things continue along their current path. I just think one should have a plan and make sure they've built up enough of a nest egg before doing so. I don't like to perform my high-wire acts without a safety net. And quite frankly, I've never really liked the whole starving artist motif. :)

There's two tricks to meshing a day job and a writing career as far as I am concerned: 1) good time management and 2) avoiding conflicts of interest. Time management involves having the discipline to do a full time job and then come home and find the time to do another. Let's just say I watch a lot less TV these days.

The conflict of interest thing is probably more important. When I'm at the office, I'm there to do my job. I may think of plot points, editing, etc during the slow periods, but when I'm there I make sure I'm doing my job. Likewise, I make no secret about what I do. I don't try to hide the fact that I write books. However, I'm also not obnoxious about it. No trying to sell my wares to coworkers. In fact no bringing it up unless someone brings it up first.

In short, the two can mesh well if one is professional about it.

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