Even with an entire day of nothing to do, a writer will find time to procrastinate. Throw in a high-maintenance day job, and a writer will get next to nothing done.That is why it is essential for a writer to find a day job which requires little to no effort, both physically and mentally.
The following are jobs that could allow for long periods of time where one could maintain a train of thought, i.e., stare at the wall for hours, and potentially type something meaningful on a laptop or other input device.
5) Writer : Well, calling yourself a writer is probably one of the best day jobs to have if you want to write a lot. Telling everyone "Shhh, I'm working!" while you lock yourself in your office for hours on end would be ideal. But this only works if you are married to someone who makes good scratch, or conversely someone who understands there will likely be no vacations, no Christmases and no money for bills.
4) Recluse : Nothing screams author like someone who locks themselves away in a cabin and allows their body hair to flourish unchecked while cranking out novels. You wouldn't have the luxury of electricity, but all the time in the world to peck away on that old Royal with the missing "h." That is, after you've chopped your wood for the day and skinned the rabbits you caught in your traps. Sending in your manuscripts via donkey to the nearest post office sounds quaint. Somewhere in Alaska would be your home.
3) Parking Lot Attendant : I can vouch for this job, because someone close to me works as a parking lot attendant. While there are some responsibilities, if you end up in the right ticket booth there is a good chance you could spend hours in a relatively comfortable "writing bubble." Drawbacks are hot summers with only a fan to keep you cool and annoying customers asking if the lower level is up or down.
2) House Sitter : Not only do you get that quiet time you need, but you can raid the refrigerator as well! To sit houses professionally, I imagine you need some credentials. Namely, have never broken into a house (at least not gotten caught). I actually follow a blog written by a lady and her husband who (I think) sit a house in beautiful Maine (CountryGirl). Sounds wonderful.
1) Night Watchman : While my other candidates for best day jobs for writers are relative long shots, this one is probably the most realistic. Sure, you have to walk the grounds every so often, but mostly you have a full eight hours to completely screw off without the boss looking over your shoulder, especially if you work third shift. If you are lucky and the place has a fast internet connection, you could probably get in some serious World of Warcraft leveling as well. Believe me, this career path has crossed my mind many times.
Aw hell. Let's face it. No matter what day job we have, us writers will always find something to complain about. True productivity comes from inside.
Any other suggestions for best day jobs for writers? Please, leave me a comment. I'm curious.