What Would You Do If You Had To Give Up Writing?

I wanted to ask "What's your dream job?" But for a lot of us, writing is our dream job.

But what if you couldn't write for some reason? What would you do instead?

I originally decided to write as one of many options. I was at my Office Space job one day, thinking about various projects -- none of them work-related, of course. I had an unfinished novel, a computer game, a couple of board game designs, and a D&D campaign bouncing through my head (and, uh . . . open on my desktop).

And I realized there was no way I could finish all of them to my satisfaction. I wanted the novel to be published, the games to be popular, the D&D campaign to actually get played.

Oh, and I also wanted to write a web comic and make movies.

So clearly I wanted to create, to tell stories, to entertain, and I realized if I really wanted to do that, I would have to focus on one medium and get as good at that medium as possible.

Obviously I chose writing, but if I weren't writing, I'd be doing one of those other things. I'd be programming computer games or designing board games or at the very least running RPG campaigns with whoever I could play with (hint: the older you and your friends get, the harder it is to play an RPG).

What would you be doing if you couldn't write?


Matthew MacNish said...

I probably would have been an actor. My mother was an actress, and my father was a stage manager, so there is a lot of the performing arts in my blood.

It's all kind of the same though. Storytelling. Even designing campaigns is still storytelling.

BTW, after another look at your new Favicon, I really like it. Tiny as they have to be, I can still tell what it is.

Nancy Thompson said...

I'd be doing what I've always done -- running my own architecture/interior design company. It's been my creative outlet for nearly 20 years.

Peggy Eddleman said...

Re: (hint: the older you and your friends get, the harder it is to play an RPG)-- yes, but eventually you all get kids old enough to play with you. :)

What a fantastic question! Yes, the need to create is HUGE for me. I had a job for four years where I did technical support for a software spreadsheet program, and the lack of creative energy expenditure nearly killed me. I'd watch the gardens people trim bushes, and even the creativity from that job was enticing. So I mostly just wrote really REALLY long formulas and macros to sate the creative beast inside. Now, though, if I couldn't write, I'd illustrate.

vic caswell said...

i'd be illustrating... which is why i'm in the process of starting my own freelance illustration company.
*crosses fingers*

Angela Brown said...

Good question. As I set here in my Office Space job - making sure to goes TPS reports done with the proper cover per the memo, of course - I'm not really sure what my dream job would be besides writing. I suppose I would try doing background singing. That would probably be nerve-wracking as well. lol!!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I'd continue with my speaking engagements and taking photographs.

dolorah said...

Hehehe. I have a day job in social services that is challenging and mostly pays the bills :)

But, if I couldn't write, I'd have more time for reading, and puzzles, and TV watching, and card games, and cooking and cleaning . .

Have no excuse for not exercising more.

It wouldn't devastate me not to write, but I would sure miss it.


A.L. Sonnichsen said...

I would be a book blogger and write scathing reviews about books other people like. Muahahahahahaha! Or maybe I'd be a copy editor and change all the double spaces after a period to single spaces. Are those cheat-answers since they both still relate to books? Hard to imagine my life without books, I guess. If I had to do something unbookish, I'd make my living as an extra in movies. I've always wanted to be one of those people walking down the street, or sitting in a cafe chatting while the action goes on. I'd especially like to be in period pieces for the costumes. *swoon*

Steve MC said...

You're definitely right about needing to focus on one medium - the others can help, but you can't ride three bicycles at the same time.

And I'd of liked to have gotten into film, too, but it's only in the last ten years, with digital and the internet, that one can really learn and create all you want. With writing, what you need to create it stays very much the same one century to the next.

Melodie Wright said...

Hmmm. I'd teach, which is my day job now. I really enjoy it but my mind is always split between the two - if I'm not plotting a scene, I'm plotting a lesson plan. ;)

One of my goals this year is to start playing piano again, tho. The past few years have been too busy for regular practice and I miss it. Music uses an entirely different part of my brain than writing/teaching.

Daisy Carter said...

So, first of all, I had a brain-spazz and couldn't remember what rpg stood for, so I googled "what is rpg?" Top of the list:

1. Report program generator, a high-level commercial computer programming language.
2. Rocket-propelled grenade.

Second on the list was a site for a role playing game. Second. After rocket propelled grenade.

Anyway, I always wanted to star on Broadway, preferably in a big rocking' musical. I actually lived in NYC for a while and went to a handful of open calls. Did you know you have to be able to sing?
Like, really well? And dance, too...usually at the same time? Boy, the things they don't put in the fine print...

Laura Barnes said...

I've discovered I can love a lot of things. If I didn't have writing, well, I still have my music. But I don't think the writing will ever go away. It's in my head all day long.

S.P. Bowers said...

I used to work at a floral shop. I loved being able to create different arrangements, experiment with color and shape. But I hated that we could never have a holiday off. Now if I weren't writing I would probably be quilting, I make my own patterns, and trying to sell them.

Myrna Foster said...

I think I'd enjoy being a librarian or a pilot or a field biologist. I also like teaching 3-5 year olds how to read, write, and play nicely with each other.

Deniz Bevan said...

I'd spend more time on hobbies like knitting and scrapbooking. The house would be a lot cleaner and the library a lot more organized. I'd bake more often. I wouldn't be blogging :-(
I might learn how to garden...