Nope, I’m not writing about homelessness this time, despite the title of this post. Although if don’t play this right, I could be one step away from being homeless if I’m not careful.
The article below is about one author agonizing over whether he should quit his job to write full time. I completely understand his dilemma. A little over a year ago, I made a decision to go part-time at work so I would have more time to devote to writing. Unlike the author in the article, coming to that conclusion wasn’t quite as stressful. What had been stressful, was the pace and workload I was carrying which left me so exhausted I had neither energy more brain power left to accomplish anything creative.
It made perfect sense at the time. The job I did was usually sporadic. Some weeks kept me working overtime and others had me asking coworkers if I could help them in order to have something to do. And it worked perfectly, for the first few months anyway. Then the work load slowed down and the freelance writing jobs did not come in quickly or steadily enough to make up the difference.
Thus I had no choice but to “get a job” despite the fact that I already have two. Even for a writer, it is extremely difficult to write a cover letter to a potential employer when you’re not 100% committed to wanting the job. Then Linked In sent me a little “Jobs you may be interested in” message that included a part-time office administrator job at a consulting firm. The description fit my skills to a T, sounding almost exactly like one of my previous positions. Part-time? That’s perfect.
I sent off my resume and got an email that morning requesting a phone interview for that afternoon. Later that evening, I got an email asking when I could come in for a face to face interview. That is scheduled for this afternoon. Who knows how that will end, but my don’t things fly fast when you’re not really even looking?
During the phone interview, they asked me what my three-year goal was. The answer was easy. Sure I’d like to be a famous author by then, bringing in enough money to support myself entirely with my fiction. But the truth is even if I do get three titles out as planned, it’s very likely they won’t make me rich. Few writers are. Three years from now, I will consider myself very lucky to be a part-time writer, part-time office worker, workload balanced, financially balanced, and the author of three successful and nationally acclaimed suspense novels.
Every writer needs to figure out what their goals are, and decide upon the best ways to reach those goals. Quitting your job to write full time is a big risk, with no guarantees. Remember that luck is extremely important. You can write a great book and it could take years to find an audience. It might not find an audience within your lifetime. Betting your entire future on luck may not be a wise way to approach life.