Embrace your day job for writing inspiration
Many of us dream of spending our days doing nothing but working on our craft. More likely though, we must write around jobs and other obligations.
Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent, a teacher, a nurse, self employed, or working in the corporate world, your day job (or night job) can be a treasure trove of writing gold.
I went to a workshop once about finding writing inspiration from the workplace. I didn’t think I could capture anything interesting from my corporate job. But when I thought about it, I realized that the actual work wasn’t necessarily gripping, but the drama can be found in the people and their politics, personalities, and emotion. I’ve found plenty of dialogue nuggets from overheard conversations. And I’ve noted ideas for character traits from my workplace observations.
The writing instructor shared this poem from Flying At Night: Poems 1965-1985by former poet laureate Ted Kooser. Besides being a poet, Kooser was vice president of Lincoln Benefit Life Insurance Company in Lincoln, Nebraska.
They Had Torn Off My Face at the Office
They had torn off my face at the office.
The night that I finally noticed
that it was not growing back, I decided
to slit my wrists. Nothing ran out;
I was empty. Both of my hands fell off
shortly thereafter. Now at my job
they allow me to type with the stumps.
It pleases them to have helped me,
and I gain in speed and confidence.
What have you taken from your day job as inspiration for a novel, poem, or essay?