In the never ending struggle of ‘should I stay or should I go?’ I’ve been going back and forth on the topic of quitting my job and writing full time. As someone who has been in the workforce since I was 15, I’ve long associated a large part of my ‘self’ with my job (where I am more often than not referred to as ‘the machine’). Of course, even as employees, all of us amount to more than an unhappy Academic HR Partner. I’m a blogger, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a writer, a traveler, a friend, etc. When thinking of leaving the real world to pursue something that has always been a passion, I wonder if I am being completely selfish
Because if I don’t work, what am I? When meeting new people, the reality of my situation next year is introducing myself as a Stay at Home Wife. Sure, I write, but being an author thus far doesn’t allow me contribute to my household in any active financial way (which, thus far, has been and most likely will continue to be, the biggest hurdle for me to get over). Hubs and I have already talked about what I will be responsible for – and yes, while publishing two books next year is part of my personal goals, there will be some real things I do (I am planning on a post on that topic for later).
Having published eight (!) books and nowhere close to being able to support myself through these endeavors, is choosing to leave my employer the single biggest mistake I could make? I’m not going to believe for a hot second that by not working I will suddenly be an amazing writer and all my problems as an author will be solved. Yes, I will have more time – time to write every day, time to really plan and hone my skills, but also to be realistic. The thing about being self published is that it is a hobby that requires money. For editors and cover artists. For ads and any number of other of things. There is a very real possibility I could publish two more books (or four, or however many) and be in an identical situation to where I am now – that is, where it costs more to publish than what I bring in.
So, why then, does the universe keep sending me ideas? Just this year, I’ve come up with two additional novels – just waiting to be written. With an exhausting full time job and less time than ever to write, when exactly am I supposed to get to get to all of these plans? And what if my Muse stops sending me ideas? Honestly, if I ignore and make excuses and not write these books, will the ideas keep coming?
And still, I go back to what prompted me to self-publish in the first place. Rather morbidly, I thought if something terrible happened to me, what would be my biggest regret? Right now, it would have nothing to do with contracts I didn’t send out and everything to do with a certain book I finished in 2011 which I really want to see be successful. It is the thought of getting out of bed every day and working for myself (even if the pay is crappy) and being genuinely excited to tackle the day’s problems, and less about crossing things off a list.
Anyway, that’s where I’m at.
Advice/suggestions/positive thoughts welcome.
TL;DR: First world whining about purpose, passion and choices that many people are not lucky enough to make.