So you graduated from your creative writing school starry-eyed and filled with visions of yourself popping champagne at the Pulitzer Prize winners' party. Fast forward a few years and you're living in the tiniest apartment in the city endlessly sending out your one "masterpiece" novel to be rejected (again) by every agent between Vancouver Island and Portugal. You're living off boxed spaghetti from the food bank and your daily blog is becoming increasingly dedicated to your anger at the impenetrability of the publishing industry. At the end of the month you will be officially destitute. It's time to declare your writing career a failure, suck it up, and take a job in the copy department at Staples, right?
Wrong! What many aspiring writers don't realize is that if you're willing to forgo fame and massive piles of cash, it's relatively easy to make a career in writing. There are hundreds of jobs out there for people who can string a sentence together in fields ranging from public relations to search engine optimization. office living isn't a must either, because many writing and editing jobs, even for big firms, can be done from anywhere since most of your work will be sent and received via email. The best part: you'll earn enough to actually file a tax return.
A good way to start looking for an alternative writing career is to load up local and internet job banks with your most finely crafted resume. Emphasize your ability to write in many styles and on a deadline. With so many companies branching into internet sales, they're going to need talented people like yourself to write their web content. If you want to stay in the city, file an application with recruiting firms, because is it possible one of their clients will have a spot for you, they might need writers to do their web content and write resumes for clients.
If your delicate sensibilities are offended by the suggestion that you might put your potentially award-winning talents to use peddling baskets to industrial firms or soliloquizing on the benefits of one company's lead counterweights as compared to another's, you might also consider journalism. Obviously very few journalists end up reporting breaking news from exotic locations, but you might end up with a rewarding career in journalism by submitting a few sample pieces on subjects you enjoy to local newspapers or special interest magazines.
If there's one sure-fire way to inspire a person it's to suggest that perhaps they lack the talent to make it in one of the more "high profile" writing careers. So I won't. In any case, talent has little to do with whether you get your big break, anyway. That falls within the purview of luck and persistence, so if you're really set on having a bestseller to rival Harry Potter or becoming the next Oscar-winning screenwriter, there's no reason you can't also pursue that goal while working an alternative writing job. Who knows? You might even write better once you have enough to eat.
Thank you for your support!