How to Quit Your Job and Become a Full-time Writer
I wanted to drop English teaching from the moment I started.
I first read about these glamorous posts abroad while working at my first office job. As a would-be writer with no real prospects in my home country, I couldn’t think of any better way to use the literature skills I’d studied at university.
It had seemed like a noble calling. Helping young people acquire my language, opening the gateway to international communication.
When I took my first teaching position in Shenyang, China, I realised that the ESL industry in Asia was just a way to exploit poor families by demanding exorbitant fees from parents to allow their children to sit in a room with underpaid, unprofessional foreign teachers. I’d wanted to be a symbol of hope for young dreamers seeking to join a wider world than they’d ever known; instead I was part of a money-making scheme for an evil business that had no motivation to provide real education.
I’ve met so many English teachers who find their work meaningless and unrewarding. Many like myself are writers who hope that one day the job will lead to something else in communication, or at least that they'll be able to improve their writing or pick up the local language in their spare time. So many have “an idea for an app” that they hope to develop one day, when they’re not drawn into the drinking, the false popularity with locals and the glib hedonism that comes with the profession.
The sad truth for most foreign teachers of English is that they will return home some years after having left to find they’re exactly in the same place as where they started, with no advance in their careers whatsoever.
It’s not the same for everyone. There are some fine teachers out there. But the ESL industry is largely characterised by cases such as these.
The only reason I was able to make the switch from teaching to writing was that I made the decision to do it. I started contributing to local magazines, and in time I saved up enough money to launch one of my own. I never quite had as much money as friends who stuck with teaching, but I found myself working hard doing something I loved, and getting better at it all the time.
While magazines of the kind I used to write for are now largely gone thanks to the advent of social media, there are now more opportunities than ever before to become a writer. Every business with a digital presence needs copywriting for a website, blog or daily social posts, and digital marketing agencies generally lack competent writers to create that content.
For those who find content marketing just as venal an industry as teaching, there are always opportunities to write about people. Our writing bureau Metro Writers is a platform for authors who are interested in working on biographies, writing meaningful books about interesting people.
We've found that there are many opportunities out there for writers who want to devote their time to creating a book about someone worth writing about. These jobs pay well, and they mean a lot to the people we work for, helping them to create a lasting legacy or to improve their social stature in business.
We’re always looking to connect with people who want to break out of jobs they don’t love (such as English teaching) and work with us instead to create opportunities to pursue the kind of career they really want to have—as a writer.
If you're interested in working with Metro Writers, you're welcome to enquire.