Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Publishing vs Nursing

I freely admit that I am an aspiring author who would very much like to leave my current career to write full time. But isn't that the dream of every aspiring, unpublished author? I am at least realistic. I know the odds are against me.

And after today's news of publishing houses laying off, restructuring and possibly placing freezes on acquisitions, now is clearly not a good time in the publishing industry. Publishers Marketplace dubbed it 'Black Wednesday' and bad news seemed to come from every direction.

Agent and editor bloggers that I follow and admire seem beside themselves as they worry about what's going to happen next. My heart goes out to all of them, and I hope they all weather this crisis in good form with their careers intact.

It's at times like these that I reflect upon my day, er, night job. As a Registered Nurse in a cardiac ICU, I don't have to worry about lay-offs. I have to worry about mandatory overtime and whether or not I'll get Christmas off.

There's a nursing shortage. If the hospital I worked for went under, I could find a job within days if I wasn't picky, a month at the utmost if I was picky. And given that sort of job security, I'd be crazy to want to leave the field.

And yet, as an author, I'd be able to set my own hours, eat like a normal human being, use the bathroom on an as needed basis, and see more of my family. But I'd be at the mercy of the economic climate and how well my books sold.

For now, I shall remain a CVICU RN. Yes, it means I'll have to work Christmas and New Year's, but at least I'll get holiday pay on top of the overtime.

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