“Get a day job. You can still write” Elnathan John
“Get a day job. You can still write” Elnathan John

“Get a day job. You can still write” Elnathan John

I am one of those people who does not enjoy the job that I currently do. If I had it my own way I would wake up to write a book, bask in the sun until the next inspiration struck again. I have always felt caged in the corporate world. Where everything is systematic and policy guided no room to creatively bring something new to life. If you do they say submit it to the innovation committee who will sit on it for many weeks before they tell you in a dismal tone

“What you submitted is something we were already working on.”

I and my passion live on different sides of the glass. I go through life yearning and longing for freedom. I am here and my heart is on the other side. But for the first time in a long time, I found solace in the words of renowned writer Elnathan John who I admire so much.

Elnathan John is a renowned Nigerian satirist, author, and lawyer. He was shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2013 and 2015. Elnathan has written three books: Born on a Tuesday, Becoming Nigerian: A guide, and On Ajayi Crowther street. On Monday the 17th of May 2021 he took to his Twitter page to share some truths that are rare to find in the creatives world:

Being a freelancer can be challenging in a place where one is also an immigrant. You have to jump through hoops to prove income, to show you are able to finance things. I’m one more payslip demand from quitting this full-time writer thing and getting a job like a normal person. I have been doing this for nearly a decade. So if I call it a day now it won’t be such a tragedy. So yeah if you want to employ me come and shoot your shot. I cook. I clean. I can give you the boyfriend experience. Oh and I write and do literature things too if you into that. Honestly my advice to younger people wanting to do this? Get a job. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret this for one second. I have been very lucky and many great things have happened to me. But it is far more sensible to get a day job. You can still write.

As Originally tweeted by Elnathan John (@elnathan_john) on May 17, 2021

When many people tell you to follow your passion they often leave out the advice that sometimes your passion has to play second fiddle to survival needs. That job you dislike so much can finance you and your passion to grow and produce great fruits. Do not rush to quit your job if you have one. See what another writer: Ikhide R Ikheloa had to say below:


This honest sharing by Elnathan and Ikhide is what’s needed in our creatives world. Young creatives need to be told that its not all glorious out there. We need the light and guidance. I needed the light and this saved me from making a great mistake I could have regretted later in life.

Photo credit/ www.elnathanjohn.com

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