The advantage of working a 9-to-5 job, or any sort of job with set hours, is that at the end of your shift you can walk away. You get to leave it all behind, go live your life, and forget about work. Most creative people aren’t wired like that. Some people have to create as their muse moves them. Others, like my wife, never seem to switch off. Even when we’re trying to kick back and watch a movie, she’s sewing or crocheting or sketching. I love being a writer because I can set my own schedule, and write whenever I want and need to get the work done.
A job with set hours doesn’t always allow you to live the sort of life you want to live. I’ve written about the corporate world trying to police how many times per day I was allowed to go to the bathroom, and how long I was allowed to take. I’ve seen good workers fired because they couldn’t make their child care needs conform to the needs of the business, even though (in my opinion) the business could have and should have made some allowances. Adhering to the rules was more important, for some reason, than keeping a valuable employee.
The ability to set my own schedule lets me manage my own time and set my own priorities. I tend to go grocery shopping early on Tuesday mornings, avoiding the weekend mobs. Museums here are free on Fridays, and I love museums, so I take advantages of that as often as I can. I can catch lunch, or dinner, or coffee, with a friend. I can’t just drop everything and go, of course, because I have deadlines and responsibilities, but I can plan for it. I start a little earlier in the morning, work later in the evening, put in a few hours on the weekend to compensate. I don’t have someone yelling at me or giving me guilt for my lack of conformity. The work gets done, and my quality of life is much better, because I can set my own schedule.
You can read more about Why I Write here.