Advice I recently got during a writers’ conference: keep your day job. Many successful mid-level writers, ones you’ve heard of but who don’t get the biggest high-dollar deals, they have jobs to pay the bills.
Two things about that: 1) I’m hopeful that readers will love what I write, but I’m in this for the love of writing, not out of an expectation of fame and riches; and, 2) I love my day job, so even if I get the million-dollar deals, I can’t see myself quitting.
I am a computer programmer at Gilead, a company focused on discovering and manufacturing life-saving and life-improving medications. My data processing work provides a tiny link in the chain of tasks from the moment of chemical compound discovery to the moment when the medicine is placed on drug store shelves. A really tiny link, but one that ensures patient safety and focuses on how to help sick people. I consider it interesting, compelling, and honorable work.
Above are pictures of me on my November visit to Gilead.