The Dream is to write and only write. Not to have to do something else to pay for the roof over your head. Not to have to answer to some boss who’s constantly checking to see if you’re in on time or if you took a long lunch. Not to have to pull yourself out of bed every weekday morning, join the rush hour traffic to get to your cubical so you can work 8 or 9 or 10 hours a day then go home to sleep so you can do it all again the next day.
That’s the dream. That’s my dream anyway. A dream I’ve had since I was in sixth grade. Seriously. I think it would be fair to say it’s the dream of most writers, though, admittedly, not all. I know a few who love their day jobs, and have no intention of every leaving them.
Me…I can’t wait to get out.
But there are a lot of considerations that need to be made before someone takes the leap. Sure, maybe you have a contract that gives you enough cash that you can live and write full time. It might not be live-in-grandeur style money, but enough to pay the rent and buy your food. But the question then is…for how long? You see, that money you just got might be the most you’ll receive at one time for the rest of your career. (I sure as hell hope not and don’t wish that on anyone, but it needs to be said.) If it is, would it be better to sock it in the bank and continue working the two jobs…your day job and your author job? How can you know?
And then there are the added expenses. There’s those pesky estimated tax payments you need to make that cut into the lump sum you thought you got. There’s the fact that now you have to pay for your own insurance. And all those freebies you got at the office? The paper clips? The pens? The free copies? All gone.
Yes. There’s a lot to think about when you make “the” decision. It’s a decision I had to make this summer. And for me, it took all of perhaps one nano second to make up my mind.
Five and a half weeks ago, I told my bosses that I was retiring from television.
That’s right. I’ve chosen the life of fulltime novelist. Yet because I have a great job and work with people I don’t just consider my colleagues, but also my friends, I gave a seven week notice. That’s right…I was VERY generous. The good thing is that that notice will be up a week from tomorrow. So the next time I blog here, I will no longer have the 9 to 6 desk job I’ve been at for the last 6 years…hell, perhaps they were at different places, but the last 19 really.
I intend to take my new fulltime job very seriously. I’ve already started planning out my schedule and my goals. You see, I have a responsibility to make sure that this leap I’m taking isn’t only for a limited amount of time, but rather forever. I think the possibly of going back to a corporate job should be more than enough to keep me focused.
But I can’t lie. I am so excited about the new freedom I’ll now have to do things whenever I want to do them. I’m thrilled at the idea of being able to spend more than an hour or two a day at most writing, and now stop only when I feel done for the day. I cannot wait to be able to focus totally on the story I’m working on, to not be forced out of my train of thought because I have to go to work.
Taking this step is a huge risk. I know. But it’s time.
So this is my last post before I retire from television. It’s been a wonderful career. It has taken me places, exposed me to new things, and introduced me to people who have become friends I’ll have for the rest of my life. It has given me the safety net I needed to foster and grow my writing abilities, and to keep me afloat until I was ready to jump. Though I doubt any of the people I work with now will be reading this…I just want to say thank you.
Oh, and another bonus that comes with my new found freedom…an ability to be more active here at Murderati. My colleagues have been more than patient with my less than stellar involvement, and I plan to make up for that now. Well, not now…in a week and a half.
When I’m free.
When I’m a fulltime writer.
Song for the day (Let’s make that for the next week or two): BEAUTIFUL DAY by U2
And for those who missed my good friend Rob’s post from yesterday, scroll down and check it out. It’s excellent.